Strawberries galore!

We spent some time this weekend in Southern Alberta visiting friends.  Many times in the past we have gone to pick berries while visiting, and this time was no different from before.  We took the kids early one morning to Broxburn Vegetable and Cafe, and we were not disappointed.  The berries were plentiful, large and so sweet.  We were able to pick two pails full of berries, and a few may have also ended up in our bellies!  I wanted to bring some berries home for snacking, but I was also very keen to bake with them.  I still had some pie dough left in the freezer so I went looking for a recipe.  I wanted a recipe that was for more than just strawberries and I also wanted a streusel top.  After looking through many recipes I found one that looked great.  The recipe called for 6 cups of strawberries, but I ended up using 4 cups of strawberries and one cup each of raspberries and blueberries.  In the end the pie turned out even better than I had envisioned.  It was sweet from the berries and covered in a crumble top that was crunchy from the oven.  Served with vanilla ice cream, it was pure deliciousness.  Find the Streusel-topped strawberry pie here, remembering that I used my grandma’s pie dough for the crust.

Happy baking,
Sara

Weekly Meals July 31 – August 4

Meal updates from last week:
All meals last week were well received by the family.  I really enjoyed the sweet and sour bowls and the Mediterranean chicken.  Foil packets are my new favourite thing for hot weather cooking, not to mention that clean-up in non-existent.

This week we will be eating at home Monday-Friday.  We are heading out-of-town early tomorrow and will return later on Monday, so I am not sure what Monday dinner will look like.  It could be breakfast for dinner or even grilled cheese.  This week we are also celebrating another birthday!  Our daughter is turning one.  We will spend her actual day just the four of us together, and then celebrate with friends and family on the weekend.  This also means I will be busy preparing food for the weekend as well as baking another cake.  I have decided to make her cake simple, with not as many steps has her brother’s cake.

  • Sheet-pan sausage and peppers with cauliflower rice from @iowagirleats I have never made cauliflower rice before, my kids love brown rice so we will see how they like this new version?!
  • Steak fajita foil packs from @cremedelacrumb1 yes I am trying another foil pack recipe!
  • Pierogies with sour cream is what I am making for our daughter’s birthday dinner.  Pierogies are possibly her most favourite thing to eat, and no I am not making them! I will be buying them from the Farmer’s Market.
  • Grilled bruschetta chicken from @cremedelacrumb1 this is a new recipe for me, and with our abundance of tomatoes I need to start using them daily.  I will serve this with a butter and parmesan spaghetti and a side caesar.

For our daughter’s Birthday party I am serving ham with buns, salad and fresh fruit.  I have decided to have three different salads: broccoli, kale and Asian slaw.  You can find the broccoli and kale recipes on my Canada 150 post.  I will share my Asian slaw later in the week.  I will be making cupcakes for her cake, find the image here at the bottom of the page.  As always I will be using my go-to chocolate cake recipe with vanilla frosting.  Use my new search feature to find the cake recipe.

I have some other recipes to share with you that I am excited to try!

Don’t forget to bring the Dinner List 22 to the grocery store.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Classic Saskatoon pie

The Saskatoon berries in Southern Alberta this year have been abundant, large and juicy.  My dad has been out picking them by the bag full, so of course I needed to make them into a pie.  I had leftover dough from pie making earlier in the month, so this pie came together quickly!  The recipe that I am going to share with you is from my Grandma, I have copied her words verbatim, and trust me she will not lead you astray in pie making.

Classic Saskatoon Pie

This is a true prairie dish served often by your grandmother and great-grandmother.  One tip: Saskatoon berries have to be cooked before baking with sugar or they will be woody and tough.

  • Pastry for a 2 crust 9 inch pie (see an earlier post on pie dough)
  • 4 cups of Saskatoon berries
  • 2-4 tbsp of water (this will depend on the juciness of the berries)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar (I usually use the lesser amount, but this depends on the sweetness of the berries)
  • 1 tbsp tapioca or 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg or cinnamon

Simmer Saskatoon berries and water in a pan.  Bring them to a boil, then turn off the heat, put the lid on and let the berries steam for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes remove lid and add, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca/flour, butter and cinnamon or nutmeg.  Cool slightly and place in pie shell.  I use milk and sugar on my crust.  Be sure to remember to make steam slits in the top of the pie.  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 for about 35 minutes.

Happy baking,
Sara

*After doing some reading on different types of berries it seems that Saskatoon berries and Huckleberries are very similar.  Huckleberries may be slightly sweeter, so just decrease the amount of sugar used.  As we do not have Huckleberries in Alberta, this information is for my friends in the U.S.*

Weekly meals July 24-28

Meal updates from last week:
The BLT salad is always a hit in our house.  I changed it up a little this time and served some BBQ sausage with the salad.  We loved the apricot pork!  It was very simple but full of flavour.  My son’s piñata cake was amazing!  It turned out better than I could have ever expected.  You can see a picture of the cake on my Instagram (three_plates_full)

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, Friday we may go out for dinner or have takeout.  My son is at camp all week, so I will be sending snacks with him to enjoy throughout his day.

There has been a lot of toast and cereal eaten in the last week.  This week I am going to try to bake some muffins, but it all depends on the temperature outside.  I did find this pancake recipe that looks very interesting!  My dad picked a large bag of Saskatoon berries last week, which I will be making into a pie.  I already have pie dough in my fridge.  Find the perfect dough recipe on an earlier post.  I will be using a pie recipe from my grandma, which I will post later in the week.  I have yet to try out another popsicle recipe, but I found this one that looks simple and delicious.  Don’t forget Dinner List 21 for ease when shopping.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals 17-21

So sorry for the late post.  We were so busy last week!

Meal updates from last week:
The best things that we ate last week were the foil packets and the lasagna soup.  The foil packets were so easy to make and full of great flavours.  We didn’t end up eating the BLT salad, so we will carry it over to this week.

This is an exciting week as my son is turning 7!  He has requested a family favourite for his Birthday dinner.

  • BLT salad from @marthastewart we will be starting this week with a recipe from last week that we did not eat.
  • Apricot-glazed pork kebabs from @cookinglight I will serve this with green beans from the garden and brown rice.
  • Classy chicken casserole from The Best of Bridge, this is what my son has requested for his Birthday dinner.  We will eat this with egg noodles and a side salad.
  • Rainbow Thai basil noodle salad from @halfbakedharvest this is a new recipe for me and I am not the best with rice noodles.  Fingers crossed that I can make them work!
  • BBQ chicken quinoa salad from @whatsgabycooking I am going to swap the quinoa for brown rice as it is more popular with my kids.

We are going to take a break from pancakes this week and get back into cereal, cold oats and toast.  I have a few bananas that need to be used, so I might try to make this bread.  I will be using this recipe for my son’s Birthday cake, but making in into a piñata using this recipe.  My daughter is turning one in a couple of weeks and I found this cake (the balloon cupcakes at the bottom) that I think will be perfect!  When heading to the grocery store make sure to print Dinner List 20

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals July 10-15

Meal updates from last week:
The biggest hit from last week was the Thai noodle salad with peanut dressing.  We ate it hot at night, and then I ate it the following day cold for lunch.  Both were delicious!  I did not have a chance to make the pork sliders, we ended up having burgers instead.

We have another busy week!  We will be eating at home Monday-Friday and it looks like the heat wave is going to take a break for a few days, which means I will get a chance to turn on the oven.  We had Sunday dinner with my parents, mom made the chicken fajita burger from @iowagirleats and I brought this Southwestern chopped salad.

  • Slow cooker lasagna soup from @cremedelacrumb1 I have made other lasagna soups before but never tried this one.
  • Chicken fajitas from @marthastewart this is my go to recipe for fajitas, fast and simple to make.
  • Asian chicken foil packets from @twopeasandpod this is a new recipe for me it looks very easy and cooks on the grill.
  • Turkey kofta kebabs from @skinnytaste we will eat this with a Greek salad and warmed pita.
  • Blt salad from @marthastewart this is a recipe that we love!  We usually have this salad once a month.  The buttermilk dressing for this salad is amazing.

As the weather is going to be cooler for the next two days I am going to try to make some pies.  My good friend brought me some rhubarb from her garden, I am going to use it to make strawberry rhubarb pies.  I do not have a recipe right now, but will post it when I find one.  For my pie crust I always use my grandma’s recipe, to find this recipe go to my post on the best pie dough.  Next week my son is turning seven, in preparation for his birthday I will be baking him a cake.  I always use the same chocolate cake recipe, if you are a cake lover then you MUST try this cake.  My son has asked that I make a piñata cake, so I found this recipe that looks amazing.  I cannot wait to put it together for him.  As we are in the middle of Stampede I couldn’t help but find a new pancake recipe, I am going to try this with nectarines instead of peaches.  Don’t make your own grocery list just take Dinner List 19

Happy cooking,
Sara

*Here is the recipe that I used for my pie*

Spring cookies

It is always fun to make seasonal cookies.  It is even more fun to include children in this tradition.  Baking is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.  Measuring, pouring, cracking and mixing are all things that kids can do.  I was very excited to make some Easter cookies and include the pastel M & Ms inside the batter.  I have made this recipe many times and shared it with you earlier in the blog.  This sugar cookie recipe from @averiesunshine is simply the best!  Follow exactly what the recipe says, and do not skip placing the dough in the fridge.  Remove cookies from oven when they are just slightly golden around the edges.  From the top they don’t even look cooked, but I promise they are soft and chewy.  I added some pink, purple, green, yellow, blue jimmies and sprinkles to the batter.  I love the crunch that it gives this soft buttery cookie.

Happy baking,
Sara