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'healthy' Brownies

Made you look didn't I? B) If there is such a thing as healthy Brownies, these might be them. With half the amount of sugar normally used and oatmeal flour substituting for half the flour, these gooey and chewy brownies will leave you wanting just one more piece. Warmed, of course.

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich

My kids are huge fans of BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, so I experimented and came up with an Asian version.  I use homemade pickled vegetables in these sandwiches, reminiscent of Vietnamese Sandwiches and Sriracha Mayo to give it a little kick.  Feel free to omit the Sriracha.  This recipe can be made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker, so no need to babysit a pot on the stove. 

Bacon Asparagus Wrap

Bacon and asparagus together provides just the right amount of savory. A very simple dish.

Baked Spicy Sichuan Lamb Chops

This is a variation of the Hot and Spicy Lamb stir-fried with Sichuan Chilli Oil that I so love in my favorite Sichuan restaurant. Baking the lamb chops whole cuts down on preparation time to make it perfect for a weeknight meal.

Bbq Chicken Pizza

A nice change from the usual pizza. Quick with ready made ingredients.

Bbq Pulled Pork Sandwich

This is a simple sandwich that my kids love in the summer, to celebrate the flavors of barbeque without actually grilling. Cooking time takes a few hours, but if planned ahead, an easy meal that requires minimal effort. If started 3 hours ahead of time, you may even start with frozen pork, as I often do. I also like this recipe, because it doesn't require any meat cutting. A large cut of pork, the way I get it from the store, works very well for this dish. You may also use a crockpot if preferred.

Cherry Crisp

This is my favorite substitute for Cherry Pie due to its reduced preparation time. Crunchy and tasty, perfect with vanilla ice-cream.  I have recently updated this recipe to reduce the amount of sugar used.

Chicken Gumbo Soup

A spicy soup made of okra and a medley of vegetables that is a perfect comfort food for a cool day.

Chicken Pot Pie - Homemade

A perfect comfort food full of flavor from a medley of vegetables, chicken breast and a crispy crust.

Chilli - No Beans

This is a great dish to warm up on a cold winter's night, especially for those who like the heat of chilli without the heaviness of beans.  I recently updated this recipe with the addition of celery, carrots and bacon to give it a little more depth in flavor.   For an Italian twist, I serve it over some spaghetti and topped with fresh Jalapeno chilies.  A squirt of lemon juice over the top of the chili lightens the dish.

Chocolate Brownie Cake

A simple, rich chocolate cake with all the flavors of a brownie and the texture of a cake.  Serve plain, with icing sugar, with whipped frosting or with ice-cream.  **UPDATE** I have recently tried this recipe substituting 1/4 cup of the flour with cocoa powder.  The rest of the recipe stayed the same.  The substitution of 1/4 cup cocoa powder made the cake more intensely chocolaty. so if you are a chocolate-lover, this might be a favorable change.  If on the other hand, you're not a big fan of super chocolaty deserts, then feel free to stick with the original recipe.

Cinnamon Butter Mochi - Hawaiian-inspired

One of my favorite things about cooking is bringing home a taste of our vacation.  I enjoyed Butter Mochi while on vacation in Hawaii this last summer. When I returned home, I wanted to make some myself.  After a few tries, I decided to give it a crusty top, much like a brownie.  My version adds a couple of tablespoons of sugar as a topping. I also added cinnamon to the topping, but feel free to omit the cinnamon if you're not a cinnamon-lover. 

Coffee Vanilla Frappucino

Nothing beats a cool coffee frappucino on a hot sleepy day.  The combination of caffeine and blended ice work together for a perfect pick-me-up.

Cookies And Ice Cream

Your favorite cookie recipe, served right out of the oven, add some ice-cream and heaven.

Curry Chicken Pot Pie

Curry Chicken Pot Pie is a twist on the traditional Pot Pie.  It can be made with any type of meat or vegetarian curry, as long as it is not too runny.  It is easiest when there are leftovers to use as a filling.  Feel free to use any of your favorite curries - Indian Curry, Thai Curry or Malaysian Curry just to name a couple.

Curry Mash Potatoes

This recipe adds curry to mash potatoes. It makes a great side to any meat dish. Go ahead, give it a try!

Easy Loco Moco

One of the things I love about  vacations is the different foods and different meal ideas we encounter. Loco Moco is one such idea. Simple and hearty, it is one that serves a very useful purpose for us. We hike often and are usually in the middle of mountains or trees, where there is no food truck or lunch cafe close by. Lucky for us, we just need to stop under the shade of a tree, and pull out Loco Moco to satisfy our hunger.


Easy New York Inspired Japanese Style Cheesecake

Like the Japanese style Cheesecake, this cheesecake uses a meringue to create volume without the density and richness of a New York Cheesecake.  Like the New York Cheesecake, I have added sour cream (instead of milk or cream), to give it a little more richness and added a little more sugar to sweeten it, compared to a typical Japanese style Cheesecake.  I tend to like very moist cakes, so feel free to bake your cake 5-10 minutes longer if you prefer yours not-so-moist. I have tried to simplify this recipe as much as possible, hopefully without compromising taste, so you will find this recipe to have less ingredients needed than most other Japanese Cheesecake recipes, and hopefully a little easier to make, utilizing everything that a 21st century kitchen offers, while at the same time minimizing steps whenever possible.

Easy Raspberry Shake

The hot summer weather has forced me to try out quick, cold recipes to appease my warm kids.  Raspberry Shake is an easy one I do often.  It takes only 3 ingredients and one ice-crushing blender.  I substitute frozen raspberries for frozen pineapple, frozen blueberry or frozen strawberry.   Pretty much any of your favorite frozen fruit in your freezer will work well in this recipe if you can conceive of it tasting good in a shake.

Fish Cakes

I came up with this recipe to convince my toddler to eat salmon. It worked! And we found ourselves stealing bites of it too.

German Inspired Currywurst Sandwich

Currywurst is a popular fast food in Germany. It is usually comprised of tomato sauce, bratwurst and curry powder. In my version, I add some mushrooms and onions to round out the flavors to be part of a sandwich. Great as a lunch or a picnic.

Ham And Split Pea Soup

This is a dish I make with leftover ham bone.  It is easy to make, flavorful and very much a comfort food, especially on cold days.  This recipe is Not a "creamy" Ham and Split Pea Soup, it's more of a "chunky" soup with cubes of veggies and ham interspersed throughout, Goes well on its own or served with warm toasted bread. 

Homemade Lemon Creamsicle

With hot weather upon us, I am constantly looking for new ways to keep my kids cool.  Here is one that we came up with when we had too many lemons in the house.  Feel free to use lime if you prefer, add the higher end of the sugar range if you prefer a sweeter version.  My husband is a big fan of tart, so he was perfectly happy with the smaller amount of sugar.

Hot Chocolate

Great tasting and warming for a cool winter's night. Great for the holidays too!

Jazzed Up Macaroni And Cheese

A slight twist on the traditional cheesy American comfort food - A smoky flavor added by bacon bits and a hearty flavor added by mushrooms make this a perfect food on a cool night.

Kale And Leek Stirfry

I have been cooking with kale for a while now, and this is my favorite way of preparing it - cut thinly and stir fried with leeks.  Leeks impart a sweetness to the kale and complements it perfectly.  This dish works well as a vegetable side to any dish. 

Korean Gochujang Salad Vinaigrette Over Roasted Broccoli.

GoChujang (Korean hot fermented bean paste) is quickly becoming one of my favorite condiments in the kitchen.  It has such complex flavors - rich, salty, sweet and spicy.  In this vinaigrette, I add vinegar and sesame seed oil to round out the many flavors of GoChujang.  I have used this over roasted broccoli or a simple lettuce/cucumber salad.  Feel free to add to any of your favorite vegetables, roasted or not!

Lemon Shrimp With Pasta

A simple, light, lemony pasta dish complemented by the sweetness of shrimp and the spiciness of crushed peppers.

Marbled Brownies

A rich, moist and delectable brownie dessert made with nuts, white and dark chocolates topped with a chewy layer of melted marshmallow.

Native American Sweet Fry Bread

This recipe is intended as an afternoon snack or as part of a hearty breakfast instead of pancakes. They are mini sized to fit the smaller portions that my kids enjoy. Traditionally Fry Breads are eaten as part of a sandwich, taco or just a snack. Feel free to remove most of the sugar if you'd like to enjoy it as part of a sandwich or taco or any savory dish. I think it might be a great side to a spicy curry dish as well.

Nutty Granola

A healthy granola snack or topping full of nutty and fruity flavor.

Oven Roasted Zucchini Salad

Oven Roasted Zucchini Salad is a fresh way to serve zucchini.  I made this zucchini dish as a side to Paprika Lime Pork Chops and the two flavors complemented each other perfectly.

Peanut Butter Cookies

A chewy peanut butter cookie, with an attempt towards healthy with whole wheat flour. Great for a snack or as a dessert. The addition of walnuts adds an extra layer of flavor to the cookie.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Mixing 2 ingredients that tastes great in a cookie, peanut butter and oatmeal. Great for a snack or as a dessert.

Pineapple Lassi Or Smoothie

With the warm weather upon us, these come in handy to keep cool. I use it as an after-school snack, but could also be used as a dessert. I omitted the ginger usually used in a lassi, since that is my family's preference. I also use frozen pineapple chunks, so I can omit the ice, which helps concentrate the flavor. Enjoy!

Potato Salad

A creamy side dish which goes well with any grilled meat.

Quick Baked Salmon

Quick, healthy and delicious! Makes a great side dish without any starch!

Roasted Salt And Pepper Chicken

A simple, yet tasty oven-baked chicken. A good meat side dish to any recipe. Or just a quick way to cook chicken for any recipe that calls for pre-cooked chicken.

Rough Puff Pastry

I have always wanted to try puff pastry but the thought of spending hours in the kitchen refrigerating the pastry between layers has been a deterrent. However this very easy method takes about 30 minutes, and produces many layers of puffiness. Rolling the dough into a log (Thanks Mom!) helps increase the efficiency of layer-making and reduces the number of times needed to roll out the dough.  I have added an egg in the dough to help the pastry brown a little better, as is used in egg tart pastries.  I use this dough to make pot pies (reduce sugar to 1 tbsp for savory pastries), egg tarts and what I call scones.  I think it would go well as a crust for fruit pies too!

Sausage Sandwich

A different way to serve sausages with bread from the traditional hot dog. Perfect when you have more people to feed than number of sausages on hand.

Sex In A Pan

A quick yet scrumptious layered dessert made of cream cheese, whipped cream, and pudding on a buttery nutty crust. A favorite in our house.

Spicy Beef Stroganoff With A Twist

A thick and rich gravy of beef and mushroom over buttery noodles - A classic Russian dish with a twist.  Here I add some tomato along with crushed chilli peppers.

Spicy Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

My family loved this recipe when I made it for them. A little spicy, a little sweet and a little sour. Marinade and bake, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Spicy Meatloaf

A very moist, slightly spicy meatloaf recipe topped with a slightly sweet glaze - perfect for a Sunday night dinner.

Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw

This recipe puts a twist on the traditional Coleslaw. Here we add spicy Sriracha Sauce to regular coleslaw. My kids loved it so much they became vegetarians for the night.

Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins

These big blueberry muffins are a hit in my house with cinnamon balancing the flavors of blueberries. Great for breakfast or a warm afternoon snack or even as a dessert as it is in my house.

Swedish Meatballs

Moist meatballs topped with a mushroom gravy served over a plate of buttery noodles.

Sweet Honey Biscuits

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. These go great with fresh berries on a warm summer's day.

Sweet Mustard Mashed Potatoes

On our last visit to Germany, I found a new condiment in the grocery store - Sweet Mustard.  Being without my regular spices to work with, I added the Sweet Mustard to Mashed Potatoes.  My family enjoyed the meal as a side to Currywurst Sausages (without the Sandwich).  Now back home in North America, Sweet Mustard is not an easy condiment to find = so I add the sweetness to my favorite mustard to make the mashed potato recipe.  We have it as a side to Paprika Lime Pork Chops or Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Sweet Pancakes

As a mom of messy kids, I cringe any time maple syrup makes an appearance at the table.  Sweet Pancakes are my solution to those sticky breakfast mornings. They're great as an on-the-go breakfast or snack too!

Sweet Potato Malasada - Portuguese/hawaiian Inspired

Portuguese malasadas are found readily in Hawaii. They are a fried yeast dough and has the texture of a doughnut, but without the doughnut hole. In this recipe, mashed sweet potatoes are incorporated into the dough of a plain malasada.

Sweet Potato Scones

Sweet potato is one of my favorite ingredients to work with in the kitchen.  Sweet potato has a wonderful natural sweetness that it requires less added sugar compared to its counterparts.  The honey glaze adds a subtle sweetness to the tops of the scones.  Feel free to omit the honey, but do use a melted butter wash over top of the scones to prevent it from drying in the oven.  One medium sweet potato usually produces about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato.  I usually boil the sweet potato whole (with skin on, after being washed) until very tender to the fork.  Then I drain the water, and remove the potato skin after soaking in cold water.  The next step is to mash.  I usually purchase several sweet potatoes at a time, boil, mash and separate into 1 cup mashed sweet potato portions to be frozen and used conveniently in the future.

For this recipe, I use a modification to the rough puff pastry technique to create more layers after each roll, therefor reducing work and time that the butter is at room temperature.  A kitchen scraper also made the entire rolling and folding process a lot more efficient.

Thai Tea Frappucino

With warm weather coming on, what better way to cool down than with a cold icy drink?  I have always loved Thai Tea with a teaspoon or two of condensed milk to make for sweet treat.  Here I have added ice and ice-cream (instead of condensed milk) to make it a luxurious sweet drink perfect for a warm day.  UPDATE:  I added an extra 1/2 cup ice cubes to the recipe below to make for a more "blended" drink.

Vietnamese Inspired Beef Stew

This is a hearty soup that can be cooked in a pressure cooker or stove top. Fresh spices (i.e. ginger, onion, garlic, hot chili pepper, lemon grass) can be replaced with dry powdered versions if more convenient. It very much reminds me of an American Style beef stew except with a stronger spice flavor, thanks to the cinnamon, star anise and lemon grass. Great meal to warm a cool night.