Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mid-week Meal Must Try: Gourmet Steak Sandwiches

I love these sandwiches for dinner! They are easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious. The best thing is you can have them as basic or as fancy as you wish. Its also economical as you only need thin minute steaks which can be very inexpensive. Serve with a salad and you have a complete meal. This should make about 4 large sandwiches. Normally I only make the sandwiches for my hubby and I and because they are too big for a toddler to handle. For my daughter I take a few steak slices, cut them up into small pieces, and serve them to her with a plate of veggies.

3 Large minute steaks (inexpensive thin cuts of steak)
1 small Onion, thin slices
BBQ Sauce (your favourite kind)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup water
Long crusty buns or baguette

1. Melt butter in pan.

2. Slice steaks into thin slices. Add the salt and pepper to steak at this point

3. Add steak slices into the pan with the melted butter. Fry steak until brown on both sides (5 minutes at most).

4. Once steak is almost brown (approx. 3 minutes), add a handful of onions slices (keep some of your sliced onions for later to top sandwich).

5. Once steak is ready and onions have softened a bit, remove meat and onions from pan.

6. There should now be the remaining juices in the pan from the steak. Add 1/2 a cup of water to pan and bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. This will create a light gravy that can be used as a dip with the sandwich.

Place generous servings of steak on long crusty buns or baguette. Top with fried onions, raw onion slices, melted swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, or any other topping you like. Place the gravy in individual bowls and dip your sandwich in between bites.


Till next time,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mid-week Meal Must Try: Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice

This is an easy way to add some spice and flavour to a boring chicken dinner.

4 Chicken breast (bone-on or boneless)
3 Cups of your favourite salsa
4 Cups of cooked rice

Once you have cooked your chicken, cut into bite-size chunks. Heat salsa in large pot until simmering and add chicken chunks and cooked rice. Spoon into bowls and enjoy. I usually put a small bowl of Tortilla Chips on the table so every one can dip a few chips into the salsa that is left after the rice and chicken are gone :)


Till next time,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Avoid The Malls: and still shop for gifts

You may think I am nuts, but really it can be done, gifts can be bought at reasonable prices at the following places: online stores even in the month of December(most can usually deliver in stock items before Christmas right up until a week before the holiday), drug stores, and grocery stores. These stops help avoid the nightmare of overcrowded shopping malls, parking lots that resemble rush hour traffic during a blizzard (even on the sunniest of days), and the complete meltdowns our kids are known for when they are overtired, board, and hungry!

One of my favourite online shopping sites is . Sears Canada makes it easy to return items if necessary by being able to return items to actual stores, avoiding the cost of shipping and the hassle of repackaging to send returns back to the company.

Drug stores are a great stop because they have one stop shopping for all your needs. While you pick up a Prescription, you can also get chocolates and cookies. But if you go to a larger location, the variety and selection increase dramatically. I go to one that can rival any Wal-Mart or Target. The items vary from electronics to books; to high end cosmetics, skincare products, and toys! As a teenager I always would get my mother her favourite perfume from the drugstore because it was the only place I could afford it, the big department store counters never discounted it.

I have noticed that even grocery stores are starting to get into the gift selling business. Since everyone needs to stop there at some point or another during the holiday season; why not pick up a a set of wine glasses, a gift card to a local restaurant chain, or a beauty gift basket. Yes, I can get all three items at my local grocery store. Some of the larger chains even sell home decor and clothes! I read in the newspaper the other day that Loblaws, a major grocery chain here in Canada, has the most popular line of clothing in the country, Joe Fresh. And I can see why, its fashionable, inexpensive, and good quality. Right there is a chance to pick up your weekly groceries and a sweater for all those on your list.

But wherever you buy your gifts remember ... it really is about the thought behind it, not the cost!

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mid-week Meal Must Try: Tomato Sauce From Scratch

This is a simple way to make Tomato Sauce from scratch. The longer you let it cook the better it gets; I like to make it around 1 or 2 after the kids and I have returned from the park and they are down for their naps. Let it cook until about 6pm; but when I feed the toddler at 4:30 its already very tasty!

I large can of whole tomatoes
1 can of Tomato Paste
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup of water
Pinch of pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Pour enough Olive Oil to cover bottom of medium size pot.

2. Once oil is hot add chopped onion, lower heat. Cook onions until soft and translucent. This takes about 2 - 3 minutes.

3. Add Italian Seasoning and tomato paste, stir for 1 minute to let paste cook.

4. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined.

5. Add water and stir. (If you wish to serve the sauce in less than 2 hours use only a 1/2 cup of water)

6. Bring sauce to a boil, cover pot, lower heat to lowest setting on stove, and leave to cook until you are ready to serve.

You can easily add meat to the sauce by browning mince meat or chopping up sausages. Add cooked meat to sauce at the same time you add the tomatoes. Pour sauce over your favourite noodles and serve with a fresh garden salad and crunchy bread.


Till next time,