Homemade crescent rolls

I wanted to make a few things for Easter dinner as my family was coming here to eat for our family dinner. This was the first time everyone came to our place for a Holiday meal and I LOVED IT! I made a few things like some peppermint patties, recipe posted below, a carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting, an old favorite MERINGUE COOKIES, bacon and two cheese scalloped potatoes and these delicious homemade crescent rolls! These were the biggest, fluffiest rolls I have ever seen. Quite frankly I wasn’t even 100% sure that they would turn out properly, as I have never worked with active dry yeast before. They were a HUGE success, literally 😛

I changed up the recipe just a little and used a bit of whole wheat flour, and didn’t coat my dough with the 1/4 cup butter it called for, I just didn’t see the point. They were still absolutely perfect, the outsides golden brown, the insides light, fluffy, delicious.

I halved the original recipe and it still made 16 buns which was still waaaay too many for our table of 6.

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Crescent Rolls

  • 1/2 cup cooled mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups unbleached flour 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast has been dissolved, mix in potatoes, sugar, butter or shortening, egg, salt and half the flour. Stir in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough becomes stiff yet still pliable. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and insert dough. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to five days!
  3. After at least 8 hours deflate the dough and turn out again onto a floured work surface. Roll out dough to a 12-14 inch circle and cut (using a pizza cutter) into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly starting from the largest end, down to the point and form into a crescent shape. Cover and let rise for one hour while your oven is preheating.
  4. Bake, on parchment paper in a preheated oven for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Rolls before they hit the oven

Rolls before they hit the oven

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

Delicious homemade crescent rolls

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Homemade hamburgers

Why go out to McDonalds or Wendys [ick] when you can make even better burgers in your own home?!?!

Be the ‘talk of the grill” this summer with your own homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers, or cook then in your kitchen now and perfect your skills before the summer season hits!

Homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers

  • 1 pound LEAN ground sirloin, beef, chicken or turkey.
  • Around half an onion finely chopped.
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled bacon.
  • Coriander, paprika and salt&pepper to taste.
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1 egg lightly beaten.
  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl and using your hands shape mixture into four balls and squish down into patties.
  2. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

OR

  1. Mix together all ingredients except for onion, bacon and cheese.
  2. Using hands shape mixture into four balls, and then separate each of those balls into two.
  3. You will now have 8 smaller patties. Working with two at a time, place first patty down and fill with cheese, bacon and onion mixture making sure not to overload. Place other patty on top and seal all edges so that insides don’t leak. I would freeze these patties for at least an hour to ensure they don’t separate while cooking.
  4. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Cut up fresh lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and serve with some homemade, oven baked fries!

Healthy Homemade Pesto Pizza

Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza

Pesto, Asiago, Chicken PIZZA [a mini]

  • One whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • Fresh Pesto for Sauce

  • Asiago and Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded to taste

  • Cooked, Seasoned, Chicken – In strips, to taste

  • Broccoli, Chopped – To taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and Flour Ball of Dough. Let it rise about 20 minutes before rolling and baking—doing so makes a big difference in the texture.

  2. Stretch out Pizza Dough to desired size on Cookie Sheet or Pizza Pan. Fresh dough sticks to EVERYTHING and flour alone is not enough to keep it from sticking [lesson learned]. A sprinkle of cornmeal on the pan seems to work.

  3. Spread Pesto on first like a sauce and then sprinkle with the Mozzarella Cheese. Then top with with Chicken and Broccoli [we also used Green Onions] and sprinkle with the remaining Asiago Cheese. This holds all the ingredients to the dough better!

  4. Insert Pizza into preheated oven and cook on bottom rack for 8-10 minutes for a crispier crust, or on middle rack for 9-11 minutes for a softer crust.

Remove pizza from oven and let stand 1 minute before cutting.

ENJOY

Last week Chris made up a delicious batch of Fresh Pesto!

We eat PASTA quite often, so this time we decided to try it on something a little different…PIZZA!

And what a great idea! We made a Whole Wheat, Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza and it was just DELICIOUS!!!We bought a fresh, Whole Wheat, Pizza dough from the Local Supermarket and split the larger piece into 3 smaller portions so that we could try 3 different, smaller pizzas [I find that we don’t eat A LOT at any one time so it’s best not to make tons of food that sometimes sits in the fridge for a week, uck].

We did notice that it was a tiny bit sharp for our tastes, so next time I would use Mozzarella cheese for the base and then sprinkle Asiago on top to give it that extra flavour. All in all a great pizza that I would definitely try again ❤

I only usually like to eat out when I know that I can’t make comparable food at home [my ‘eat out’ of choice is fish&chips *melts*] but this Pizza was ten times better than any Asiago, Chicken Pizza I have ever tried and I think that is because we made it very unique by adding the pesto layer! Definitely a great recipe and super easy to “spin up” on a Friday night ❤

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT SOUGH <3

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT DOUGH ❤

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing with a twist!

We recently had a friend over for the night before she was off to Germany [LUCKY ;)] and we spent a little time in the kitchen cooking up a storm 🙂

I decided I would like to make a Caesar Salad and instantly started gathering different recipes for the dressing!

Much to my surprise many of the recipes called for ANCHOVIES [yuck!] or ANCHOVY paste, which I’m just not down with, and neither was Chris. I did a little research and the original Caesar Salad by Chef Cardini Caesar http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/CaesarSalad/index.htm apparently had no anchovies in it, just Worcestershire Sauce [made from fermented anchovies, vinegar etc.] which gave it that distinctive taste.

A lot of recipes also either called for raw egg, or coddled egg [an egg which has been cooked in it’s shell in boiling water for only 45 seconds and then removed] http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/CoddledEgg.htm.

I finally found a suitable looking recipe that called for neither Anchovies or Raw [or nearly raw] Egg and it turned out great! We modified it quite a bit and used a honey Dijon mustard instead of regular Dijon, as well as less garlic and it turned out wonderfully! Tangy and delicious and a little bit different than most I’ve tasted, and even better the next day [and day after ;)]


Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

Homemade Caesar Dressing with a twist!

Homemade Caesar Dressing with a twist!

2 garlic cloves

3/4 – 1 cup Mayonnaise

1+ tsp honey Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp English Mustard (the dry powder)

2 1/2 – 3 tbs red wine vinegar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 – 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

All of these ingredients are to taste, so have some fun with it!!!

  1. Combine and process all above ingredients in food processor until thoroughly blended.

  2. Then add to the mixture in a thin stream 1/4 cup light olive oil, while continuing to process.  Process until mixture is emulsified.

  3. Toss [Chopped & Washed] Romaine Lettuce with delicious mixture and serve with a lemon slice.  You can also top your salad with cooked Bacon, Cooked Seasoned Chicken, Croutons, Tomatoes, Onions or whatever else you like! ENJOY!

Stores for about two weeks in the fridge!

Caesar Salad and Sangria

Caesar Salad and Sangria

Close up of the delicious Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad with our homemade Dressing

Close up of the delicious Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad with our homemade Dressing

White & Milk Chocolate, Walnut, Banana Muffins

My absolutely favorite muffin recipe that I have been tinkering with for A LONG TIME now. Started off with just Banana muffins and have developed into mouth watering White Chocolate Chip or Milk Chocolate, Walnut, Banana muffins, heavy on the Vanilla and Nuts, just how we like them!  This recipe makes about 24 muffins [I do a dozen of each]which hold up great in the freezer for about a month or so [they totally won’t make it to the freezer though!]. Perfect treat when you’re having guests over and they travel great as well [so much better than cupcakes hehehe].

Everyone will LOVE them.

White Chocolate, Walnut, Banana Muffins

White Chocolate, Walnut, Banana Muffins

Milk Chocolate, Walnut, Banana Muffins

Milk Chocolate, Walnut, Banana Muffins

White Chocolate Chip or Milk Chocolate, Walnut, Banana muffins

1 3/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 White Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Vanilla or Plain Yogurt

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2 or 3 Very Ripe, Mashed Bananas [To taste]

Around 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips [More or less depending on your taste]

Around 1/2 Milk Chocolate Chips [Or Semi-sweet, whatever you have]

Around 1 Cup Walnut Pieces + 1/4 cup for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line or spray your muffin tins.

  3. In a large bowl mix together Flour, Baking Powder and Soda, Salt and Brown and White Sugar until well blended.

  4. In another bowl mix Egg, Oil, Yogurt, Vanilla and mashed Bananas until thoroughly mixed.

  5. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being careful not to over mix!!! [If you over mix your muffins won’t fluff up!]

  6. This is where you separate the mixed batter into two bowls for two different types of muffins 🙂

  7. Add[by folding into batter] White Chocolate into one bowl and Milk Chocolate into other bowl with 1/2 cup of Walnuts each.

  8. Fill muffin cups around 1/2 – 3/4 full and top with a little bit of the remaining walnuts and bake for 20-22 Minutes or until golden brown and fork or toothpick comes out clean!

  9. Cool on rack and ENJOY with butter or on their own!!!

The White Chocolate Chips Muffins Cooking, Halfway through

The White Chocolate Chips Muffins Cooking, Halfway through

Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked, Fresh Basil, Pesto, Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Arugula [hehe]

You will need a Basil Pesto for this recipe so I have provided one below. Or you can pick some up at your local supermarket.

Pesto Recipe

1 cups fresh basil leaves, stemmed [Keep a bunch of different herbs in the freezer for easy access]

1 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed [We keep a bag of spinach in the freezer for this reason alone]

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 Tbsp Dried Basil

3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts [I picked up a small amount of Pine Nuts at Bulk Barn and they were $4!!! Walnuts will do just fine, but if you want that truly authentic flavour, treat yourself to the Pine Nuts]

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor or magic bullet and whip until well chopped.

  2. Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.

  3. Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.

  4. Process basil pesto it forms a thick smooth paste.

  5. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well.

  6. Serve with pasta or alternate. Like chicken! OR BOTH.

Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator up to one week, or freeze for a few months.


Baked Pesto Chicken Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c pesto

2 plum or roma, or some grape tomatoes

Shredded cheese to taste, we used Asiago and it was SO! good, Mozzarella works too!

As much or little past as you would like

  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.

  3. Place in baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes on middle rack.

  4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 3-5 minutes.

  5. Serve with angel hair pasta [or whatever pasta you have on hand, or prefer] tossed with a small amount of the same pesto.

  6. Serve with a simple salad such as Spinach, Spring Mix, or Arugula. [We chose Arugula and topped with tomatoes, red & green peppers, onions and poppy seeds, with the DELICIOUS Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette that I mentioned in a previous post! https://chefashley.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/a-day-in-the-strawberry-patch-and-strawberry-spinach-salad-recipe/ That dressing kept for over two weeks in the fridge, and we both melted when we tasted it again!!!]

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner <3

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner ❤


I love spending time in the kitchen, that’s a given. But what I love even more than creating solo, is creating in the kitchen with CHRASH. [Chris&Ash]

That’s right ladies, he’s CUTE AND he cooks. In fact, CHRISTOPHER is totally responsible for igniting my flame for all thing culinary.

It was back in his bachelor pad kitchen some two years ago that he first made me a delicious pumpkin soup and I was hooked on spices and herbs.

Now, more than two years later, we have moved into our own little castle [in which we both reign] and have continued to create, copious counts of cool cuisine. [Oh yah baby, alliteration, *swoon*]

We both LOVE sitting down for a meal together and we have a big, beautiful new “adult” dining room table to enjoy our meals on now. [Our round table seems so juvenile by comparison, but still so nice covered in plants & frames].

I usually take cooking most meals upon myself because I genuinely enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen [and Chris is a MESSSSSSSSY cook], but two nights ago we turned out this DELICIOUS Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta and salad together in less than 35 minutes. A BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS meal, a perfect combination to Christen our new table ❤ …

Trevor in Toronto 222

This meal was very easy to make and absolutely delicious when paired with a simple salad, we chose arugula [hehehe, that word makes me laugh every time].

We only used one chicken breast, but paired with the pasta and salad this meal filled up our tummies and I still had a little left on my plate!

Hope you ENJOY it as much as we did!!!

Sweet, Cinnamony Apple Sauce

I find it very hard sometimes to get enough servings of fruits into my body each day. That’s why I’ve started turning fruit into OTHER delcious creations! Like Smoothies, Fruit Salads and most recently:

APPLE SAUCE

Fresh, homemade Apple Sauce is one of the EASIEST things you can make at home and stores in the fridge for up to a month! If it even lasts that long!

The hardest part of the process will be picking out the type of apple you wish to use. I had a bag of Macintosh apples that I really wanted to do something with and finally remembered how much I loved Mum’s homemade Apple Sauce and my choice was made 🙂 You can really use which ever type of Apple you like but I would suggest sticking with something sweet and inexpensive! Also, don’t add any sugar until you have simmered for about an hour. Most apples are already SO SWEET that you do no need to add ANY sugar at all. Best of all you can pick all the apples you need locally in the early fall and make enough Apple Sauce to last through the winter! Enjoy local apples ALL YEAR LONG!

I’ve found that Golden Delicious, Gala, Macintosh and Red Delicious are a few good choices, but again pick whatever type of apple you and your family prefer 🙂

Homemade Cinnamon Apple Sauce

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW :)

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW 🙂

At least  12 Apples of your choice, Washed, Cored and Peeled.

How to Peel and Core an Apple: http://www.ehow.com/how_4596898_peel-core-apples.html

  • Cut Apples into smaller portions and place in large pot over low heat, sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

  • Cook uncovered for at least one hour stirring often to break down apple pieces.

  • After an hour or so of simmering taste Sauce to check for sweetness. If you’d like it a little sweeter add a little brown sugar or more cinnamon.

  • If you like a smoother Apple Sauce mash until desired consistency reached, if you like it a bit chunkier, remove from heat and let cool slightly before enjoying or putting in jars.

  • Store refrigerated in air tight containers up to one month! Or Freeze for up to SIX MONTHS! Amazing for our Long Canadian Winters!

  • [12 Apples makes Approximately 2, 350 ml containers]

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

A great way to spice up this recipe is to try two more different Apples in one Sauce. Or better yet, prepare Pear Sauce in the same fashion as Apple Sauce but reduce simmering time as they are naturally soft!

ENJOY!!!

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy :)

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy 🙂