Nancy's Osaka Chicken


I got this recipe from my sister's husband's Mom ... Nancy ! Though I have never eaten any of her food cooked by her hand, I know that she is an incredible cook ! I drool over everything that she posts onto facebook and often ask for the recipe ! She's also who we give credit to for the most amazing soup ever ... Thai Chicken Soup !!

This chicken is one of the ones I asked for the recipe of and boy am I glad she was willing to give it to me ! You will be too once you try it !!

Sauce #1
1/2 cup veg oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic minced
2 scallions chopped
Combine all ingredients in a container and blend well. I used a stick blender.

Sauce #2
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 Cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/3 cup veg oil
Combine all ingredients in a container and blend well.

Now that you have these two sauces made you can start with the chicken. I used 4 chicken breast. Cut them into bite size pieces.

In a big hot skillet fry till browned a little in some oil then add Sauce #1 and cook until the sauce thickens a bit. Oh yeah. You can add some slices of ginger to the cooking oil and I added some sliced Thai peppers for heat.

Serve with your preference of rice ... And a mixed up a salad of sliced celery, cucumbers and grated carrot. Serve with sauce #2. We pour it over the whole thing.


Mom's Carbonara

Today is my husband's 33rd birthday ! Our lives are so crazy busy this week that we celebrated with a birthday dinner last night ! Every other night this week ... we will be out ! Including tonight ! CRAZY. BUSY ! but I said that already ! Anyway ... he always requests lasagna but this year, to be kind to me and my current crazy business, he chose Mom's carbonara instead. I went to the blog to get the recipe and discovered that it wasn't here !?!? WHAT? !?! This recipe NEEDS to be here ! And in about 3 minutes ... it will be !


1/2 (250g) lb bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup heavy (thickened) cream
4 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (I prefer the processed stuff for this ... not fresh)
3 or 4 tablespoons butter
spaghetti (I use vermicelli)

I usually put the water on for the pasta about the time I add the onion ...

Cook the bacon about 1/2 way then add the onion. Continue to cook until bacon is well cooked. If you need to pour out some of the oil, do, but you need about 3 tbls oil left in the bacon. Pour the cream in. Simmer until the bacon is 'coated' with the cream.

In the mean time, beat the eggs and add the parmesan cheese. Whip it and then leave it alone. The cheese sucks up the egg. The mixture shouldn't look 'eggy' ...

Put your pasta into the now boiling water.

(Make salad if you are serving that as well ....)

When the pasta is nearly ready, melt the butter in the microwave.

Drain pasta. Put back into hot pan. Stir in butter. Stir in egg mixture. Stir in bacon/onion/cream mixture. A sprinkle of garlic powder on top is amazing ! We just put the garlic powder on the table and let everyone do their own !

Last night (and usually) I served this with ...

Chunky Spanish Garlic Bread

Black Olive Salad


and my new favorite wine ...


Fancy Toasted Sanga

So ... some nights, due to our crazy schedules, we need to all eat at different times. I hate cooking twice, and I hate serving Rory (who is usually eating last) something cold or re-heated. I mean, that's ok for leftovers but I have this thing about the first serve of something being totally amazing but that's just another of my oddities ... let's move on.

I have been trying to plan not only meals but specifically for our crazy schedule. So ... on this particular night, we did toasted sandwiches ... aka, grilled cheese. The kids had grilled ham and cheese and then later, much later !, Rory and I had these ...

I liked them, although the basil I chose was a bit strong. Next time I'm going to try the Opal Basil. We have about 4 varieties of basil growing in our garden so I'll give them all a go maybe and see which one I like best for this ...


Super simple. Heat up your sandwich press.

Between two pieces of bread ... Sliced Tomato. Basil Leaves. Thinly Sliced Red Onion. Salt and Pepper. Provolone Cheese.

Toast til it's Toasted.

And I served it with a handful of plain Kettle Chips. My favorite.

Yummy Cajun Potatoes


I found this cool cookbook at the library that I'm really enjoying cooking out of. It is called "The Cooking Book" ... I found these potatoes in there ... I mostly did everything as the recipe said ... except that I had potatoes that were going off and needed to be used so I did ALOT more potatoes than called for.

a few potatoes, unpeeled (they used 4- I used about 12 !)
1 lemon, roughly chopped into large chunks
lots of garlic cloves, peeled (they called for 12, I did more!)
3 red onions, cut into wedges
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons tomato puree
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano (we used this because we didn't have dried and for some reason didn't use fresh out of the garden ...)
1 tsp dried thyme (next time we'll use fresh thyme and oregano !!)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
6 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven. 200C or 400F

Cut the potatoes ... Mine were small to medium size so I cut them into 1/4's lengthwise. Boil a big pot of water with a pinch of salt and then drop in your potatoes for 3 minutes. Drain and put in big roasting tray. Add the lemon, garlic, onions and bay leaves.

Whisk your remaining ingredients together. Add 6 tablespoons of water and whisk again. Pour over the potatoes and mix it around to make sure everything is coated.

Pop 'em in the oven for at least 45 minutes ... turn 'em a couple of times.

Serve piping hot !

I served them with my Dad's Famous Ribs that were amazingly delicious, cole slaw and corn on the cob. YUM YUM YUM !!!



This is one of the recipes that my husband requested that I get from his Mother when we first got married all those years ago. It's one of his favorites and the last time I planned to make it, it occured to me that the all day simmering of the sauce could take place in the crock pot. I tried it, and I was right!

generous one pound ground beef
large onion, chopped big
as many cloves of garlic as you like, quartered or so...biggish chunks (I used 8 or so last time)
a big can of tomato juice
a big can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
about a tablespoon of chili powder
2 pounds of sturdy macaroni of some sort (Mom always used elbows, I like something bigger, I forget the name of the one I used in the photo, shells are also good)

How to:
Brown the meat, throwing in the onion and garlic when it's about half browned.
Throw this in the crock pot, then stir in everything else but the pasta.
Cook on low all day. It should cook down about 1/3 or so.
When it's nearly time to eat, cook the pasta al dente. Don't let it get too soft.
Stir the pasta into the sauce.
Dig in!

We like lots of pasta, and we like it the next day for lunch, so I always make a lot. If you want to use 1 pound of pasta, I'd use a bit less meat, and cook on high for a while so that the sauce cooks down more.

(If you don't have a crockpot, you can cook it the old fashioned way, simmering the sauce on the stove for several hours. The long slow cooking of the sauce makes a difference, don't try to hurry it....)

Blueberry and Zucchini Muffins


I usually make this as a loaf but decided to try it as muffins this morning. It was a huge success ! I doubled the recipe and made 24 muffins ... Here is the recipe ... already doubled !!

3 cups zucchini (grated, squeezed and drained)
1 cup brown sugar ( i didn't double the sugar ... )
1/2 cup oil
1 cup greek yogurt
3 tsp vanilla extract (oops I forgot the vanilla today !)
2 eggs
2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup good white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cup blueberries
1 cup pecans (chopped)

Mix the zucchini, sugar, oil, yogurt and egg in a bowl. Sift the flour. I don't know why because I know very little about baking, but I've found sifting the flour to be a good idea when I use straight whole wheat. It seems to lighten it somehow. Mix the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Fold gently. Add the blueberries and pecans. Pour the batter into lined muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 350F / 180C oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean - these only took 20 minutes this morning, so start with that and see how your oven does ...

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 14 November 2010


Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Well ... I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. We had my brother Jimmy and my Aunt Lissa here for 10 days and boy did we live it up ! We were busy busy. Ate out some. Cooked some. No real plan from day to day. Well, a few days we planned but mostly we just winged it. It was fun. Then we all got sick and we're all still fighting it and I just didn't feel like cooking once they left so we just ate leftovers and out of the fridge, freezer and pantry. And then today, I planned and shopped and I'm excited ! Trying some new things and making some old faithfuls. My planning has had to become much much much more organized ... Jono is doing swimming squad three days a week and Alia two days a week. Along with Rory being involved in the music at church and playing futsal once a week, oh and a home group that meets at our place once a week too ... our nights are pretty full. We still eat dinner at home though, it just means I have to be very conscious of what I plan on what nights. One night this week we're all going to be eating a LUNCH BOX dinner !! Sheesh ... how did life get this crazy busy ??

So ... here's what's on the menu for us this week !!

As I type, the BBQ is heating up and Rory is going to cook some of my Dad's famous ribs. I'm making a new Cajun Roasted Potato recipe to go with it. I had a little taste test just a minute ago ~ not quite ready ~ but boy oh boy, once those potatoes are cooked, I predict they will be some good honky !! I've got some corn on the cob and some cole slaw to go with it ... ooooowww-eee, my mouth is watering. Is yours ??


Egg Curry
Rice, Chutney and Green Peas


Chicken Taco Salad ... in a lunch box !
With Cliantro Lime Rice

Spanish Tortilla
Green Salad

Fried Mozarella Sandwiches ... new recipe, I'm excited to try it !
Rocket and Balsamic Vinegar Salad

Winter Vegetable Pasta Sauce ... out of the freezer
on this ginormous shells that I found today !

Another new recipe.
My neighbor let me borrow her Moosewood Cookbook
She recommends the Eggplant/Almond Enchiladas and I can't wait to try 'em !!

Spanikopita Meatballs
Roasted Cauliflower

And there you have it folks !!
I'm off to put the finishing touches on tonight's dinner !!

Ginger Snaps...oooooh snap!

This is Marissa Lynn's recipe, and, according to the hoards of pie-eschewing-pot-luck-goers, they are the best of all time.  So to kick off the cookie season, I'm posting this on her behalf!

Ginger Snaps

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
1 egg
4 Tablespoons molasses (1/4 cup)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ginger
2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
2 cups flour

Mix together sugar, shortening, egg, and molasses.

Sift remaining ingredients and add to creamed mixture.

Chill the dough a couple of hours if time permits to make it easier to


Shape into balls. Roll in sugar.

Bake about 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees. minutes.


  • 3 or 4 pieces of bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 long carrot, sliced
  • 1 sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 25-30 oz of marinara/spaghetti sauce
  • 4-6 cups beef broth
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-1/2 cups dry pasta, elbows or ziti or spiral...or whatever you like.
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • some fresh Italian Parsley, chopped. Maybe a 1/4 cup
  • 1-2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (oregano, basil, etc.)
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to top


  • In large soup pot or dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. 
  • Remove bacon and saute onions, sweet potato, zucchini and carrot in bacon fat, until tender
  • Add minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Stir in marina sauce, beef broth and bring to boil.

  • Add dry pasta, brown sugar, handful of fresh Italian parsley and dried Italian seasoning. 
  • Cook, until pasta is tender. You may need to add more beef broth depending on how much pasta you used.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potato and carrot is cooked.

                                       (I always eat the end of the raw carrots.)

 Serve in bowl and garnish with grated Parmesan and frech Italian parsely.

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus Tips

The Marinade
1/4 c oil
3 tbsp dark sesame oil
7 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Chinese black or balsamic vinegar
3.5 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro

The Noodles and Asparagus
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on diagonal ( 2 pounds is actually too much, but 1 pound didn't seem like enough, maybe 1.5 pounds.)
1 14 oz package thin Chinese egg noodles
10 scallions, including the firm greens thinly sliced
1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted until lightly browned.

Mix the marinade ingredients together stirring to dissolve the sugar. I do this in a big bowl.

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the asparagus. Cook until bright green and tender but still firm, just a few minutes. Scoop the asparagus out, rinse it under cold water and set on a towel to dry

Pull the noodles apart with your fingers, add them to the boiling water, and give them a quick stir. Boil until tender but not overly soft, tasting them often as they cook. It should take only a few minutes. Pour noodles into a colander and immediately rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water.

Toss the noodles with all the marinade and most of the scallions, sesame seeds and asparagus. Mound them in a bowl or on a platter, then garnish with the remaining asparagus, scallions, and sesame seeds.