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.*

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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*

Weekly meals July 3-7

Meal updates from last week:
All of the salads I made this week were amazing!  The crunch salad had great flavours from the dill and almonds.  The chopped salad pizza was a hit!  I will be making this recipe again.  I was also very impressed with the pork skewers.  The marinade tenderized the pork, while cooking them on the bbq gave them a smoky flavour.  I finally got a chance to make the snickerdoodle ice cream, and let me tell you it was delicious.  The best part is that you do not need an ice cream maker.

This week we will be eating at home Monday-Thursday.  It is supposed to be a scorcher this week, so I am going to try my best to keep the oven off!  We are also getting close to the beginning of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, meaning we will be eating our body weight in pancakes!  I am going to try to keep our home meals healthy and nutritious.

As it is summer I have no set plans for breakfast or snacks for the week.  For the past couple days I have been starting my day with a bowl of plain yogurt topped with fresh mango, chopped banana and a handful of granola.  These no bake breakfast cookies sound interesting.  I also made the kids some breakfast popsicles, which have been a huge hit!  I would like to try some other popsicles and found this recipe that I am going to try.  I am very late posting for the week so there is no shopping list, I will get back on track next week.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Celebrate 150!

As Canadians, we have a very special weekend coming up.  Whether you are celebrating with a large group, a small gathering with friends or a backyard BBQ these recipes will be sure to please a crowd.  As we approach such a special milestone I am so very proud to call myself a Canadian.  Happy Birthday Canada!

Appetizers:
– watermelon, feta and mint on a skewer drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. (use a melon baller or cut the melon into cubes).
triple layer guacamole served with tortilla chips
antipasto salad kabobs
melon, prosciutto and mozzarella skewers
pepperoni pizza dip (if you have never made this dip YOU MUST!)
mediterranean 7-layer dip served with pita chips
feta dip

Sides:
ranch pasta salad
broccoli and apple salad
hail to the kale salad (this is an amazing salad and perfect for a BBQ)
corn salad
– baked beans (this recipe belongs to my very good friend MB)
Finely chop one onion and brown in 1 tbsp of butter.  Pour over three cans of beans: 1      kidney, 1 baked and 1 black.  Combine 1/2 cup of ketchup, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp pepper.  Pour this over the bean and onion mixture.  Bake at 300 for 1-2 hours.
– other ideas for sides: fresh fruit and vegetables and assorted chips with dip.

Mains:
chicken caesar burgers
fall-off-the-bone ribs (this is my go-to recipe)
tin foil sausage and veggie dinner
the ultimate burger
– other ideas for mains: grilled hotdogs, smokies, sausages, steaks or salmon.

Desserts:
confetti squares
Nanaimo bars
pecan tarts
strawberry shortcake
strawberry pretzel pie
no bake cheesecake bars

Happy Canada Day,
Sara

Weekly meals June 12-16

Updates from last week:
Best recipes from last week were the pork po’boys and the antipasto salad.  My kids loved the pork po’boys, mine turned out more like pork patties but the flavour was great.  The salad lived up to my expectations, I served it topped with grilled chicken.  A perfect summertime meal.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday.  Tonight we ate with family and had elk burgers, salad and baked beans.  If you have never had elk before then you need to give it a try.  It does not have a strong flavour at all, and the meat is very lean.  It makes great burgers!

It is rewind week, meaning I will be making recipes that I have posted before.

  • Thai chicken salad with ginger lime dressing from @wendypolisi this is the only recipe this week that I have never tried.  Instead of cooking the chicken I am going to buy a cooked one from the store.  No oven cooking tonight!
  • sloppy joe tacos from @gimmesomeoven my son loves these tacos.  I also like to eat these over a bed of shredded head lettuce.
  • Thai chicken wild rice soup from @denise_sweetpeasandsaffron I cannot say enough about this soup, it is amazing!
  • Chicken fajita cheeseburgers from @iowagirleats the last time I made these they were a hit.  We will have these with a veggie platter and some Alexia’s waffle fries.
  • I don’t really have a plan for dinner tonight, but I was thinking of pizza on the grill. If I still have a lot of energy to cook then I’m going to try these.

Although I’m still obsessed with the blueberry muffin oats I have also been having hot oatmeal for breakfast as well.  Last week I made a big batch of buckwheat pancakes for the kids.  They ate them every morning last week, here is the mix that we use.  I love eating acai bowls when we are in California and Hawaii, but I have never made them at home.  I found this recipe and think that I will give it a try.  Rhubarb and strawberries are plentiful right now, so I think that they deserve to be made into a dessert!  Don’t forget to print Dinner List 16

Happy cooking,
Sara

Eat your greens!

Heading into the summer months it is nice to make a meal that doesn’t involve turning on the stove or oven.  Enter the dinner salad.  Now, you may be thinking that greens will not make you feel full or even satisfied, but I beg to differ.  Topping your salad with a protein, either chicken, fish, tofu or cheese will turn your usual lunch meal into dinner.  I find feeding children salad, or maybe just lettuce very challenging.  My son still will not eat lettuce.  He will however eat all of the salad components, just on a plate minus the greens.  Below I am sharing some of my favourite dinner salad recipes:

Happy chopping,
Sara