Rice and Bean Burrito

Sometimes I end up with a lot of leftover rice. I do a lot of baking already so I don’t always want to make Rice Pudding.  Yes, sure,  Fried Rice is always an option but I don’t always have the rest of the ingredients that I would like to use on hand. Then I came across this idea on vegetarian.about.com and knew I had to try it! I didn’t follow the given recipe much but it gave me a great starting point and I went from there to create my own version of Rice and Bean Burritos.

Rice and Bean Burrito
Rice and Bean Burrito - a spicy blend of flavours to liven up leftover rice!

1-425gm can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced Garlic
1-425gm can Crushed Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup prepared Salsa
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 teaspoon Salt
Pepper, to taste
1 3/4 cup leftover Rice
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

6 – 8 Flour Tortillas

In a large skillet, over med – high heat saute onion until soft; add minced garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes.
Add tomato sauce, salsa and the spices; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
Stir in leftover rice and shredded cheddar, heat through.
Heat 3 tortillas in the microwave, on HIGH, for 45 seconds.
Spoon about a cup of the rice and bean mixture onto a single heated flour tortilla; wrap.
Repeat with remaining tortillas, heating tortillas, 3 at a time, in the microwave before filling and wrapping.
Top each tortilla with some shredded cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and serve on a bed of lettuce.

*I made up 8 burritos, wrapped them in cello wrap then l-foil and put them in the freezer for ready to go lunches in a hurry.

A variation of the recipe I found at:
Rice and Bean Burrito

Scalloped Potato Soup

Everyone loves scalloped potatoes! But sometimes there is just too much leftover. I had a whole lot left over and simply had to come up with a new way to serve ’em up instead of just heating them up as a side.

Naturally I googled  Scalloped Potato soup because I had it in my head that it had probably been done and I was right. I loosely followed a recipe I found on AllRecipes, tweaking here and there and came up with what I thought was almost better than the original Scalloped Potatoes!

Scalloped Potato Soup
Scalloped Potato Soup - All the flavours of Scalloped Potatoes with a little something else...

4 cups Scalloped Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
4 cups Water
2 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock Cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground Thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground Sage
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 bunch Broccoli, cut into small pieces

Drag a knife through leftover scalloped potatoes, turn pan, drag through again to create bite size pieces of potatoes.
In large saucepan combine potatoes, water, vegetable stock cubes, thyme, sage and garlic powder; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, toss in broccoli, place tight fitting lid on pot and cook until broccoli is tender; about 12 – 15 minutes.
If desired, top each serving with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese.
Serve with warm Herb Biscuits.

The link for the recipe that I sort of followed:

Scalloped Potato Soup

Reeses Bars

This recipe was given to me by a neighbour about 20 years ago. Living in a house with four children you can bet peanut butter was a favourite so these were a natural hit! One son used to request these bars for his “birthday” cake! On your birthday, anything goes, so instead of making bars? I pressed the peanut butter mixture into a springform pan, topped with chocolate, let it set then wrote, “Happy Birthday Ryan!” on top!

Now I will be the first to tell you, health bars, these are not! I have recently started doing them as individual cups in order to help with portion control. However, I will not be held responsible for how many of these you eat! And may I suggest a nice cold glass of milk? Normally I am all about the coffee but these bars/cups need something to tone down the sweetness.

Reeses Cups
Sinfully Sweet - Reeses Cups

3 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter
1 cup Butter
1 1/2 cups Graham Crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon Butter

In medium saucepan melt peanut butter and butter.
Stir in icing sugar, one cup at a time and stirring well after each addition.
Add graham crumbs and vanilla, mixing well.
Press into a 9X13 (3.3l) pan.*
Melt chocolate and 1 Tbsp butter over very low heat, stirring constantly until completely melted and no lumps remain.
Spread over base; cool until chocolate has set.
Cut into bars.

* Line 48 mini muffin cups with paper liners.
Use a two ounce scoop to fill each cup; press each filling firmly into cup.
Using a small coffee spoon (Aussie style!) top each peanut butter cup with melted chocolate, swirling to cover entire top.
Cool until chocolate has set.


Luke’s Boiled Fruitcake

From whence this recipe originally comes from, I do not know. I got the recipe from my mother in law quite a few years ago and make it twice a year: Luke’s birthday and Christmas. I think traditionally Luke would have it with custard but we don’t have that readily available at our grocery stores and I don’t make it well! I usually give it a light drizzle of plain icing but I think it needs a little something more….will keep you posted on what I decide to top it with.

Luke's boiled Fruitcake
Luke's beloved Boiled Fruitcake - not just for Christmas!

1/2 lb (1 cup) Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 lb (2 cups) Mixed Fruit: sultanas, raisins, currants, mixed peel, glace cherries, chopped
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Bundy Rum or Capt Morgan’s Spiced Rum
1 teaspoon Instant Coffee Granules
1 cup Water
2 Eggs, well beaten
2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Combine from Butter to Water ingredients in medium size saucepan; bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in small mixing bowl; set aside.
Prepare a 10″ (25cm) springform pan by spraying with vegetable oil spray.
Preheat oven to 300F (150C)
When fruit mixture is cool, stir in eggs and dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in moderate oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from oven and cool in pan, on wire rack for 30 minutes.
Remove sides from springform pan, slide cake off base to wire rack and cool completely.


Classic Bread Stuffing

I have been using a variation of this recipe ever since I cooked my very first turkey! Many thanks to my neighbour who had cooked a turkey once before and to Betty Crocker Cookbook for the Poultry section but most importantly, for the Bread Stuffing recipe, because really, it is all about the stuffing! I used to try to change things up, add interesting ingredients but was always told to stick to the traditional! The only thing I do differently now is that I cook the stuffing by itself in a casserole dish; truth be told, I often make stuffing with nary a turkey in sight! I would not do well on the, lose the wheat, lose the weight theory promoted in Wheat Belly.”

Lose the wheat, lose the weight.

Alas, I digress! Without further ado, Classic Bread Stuffing!

Classic Bread Stuffing

1 cup butter
2 large stalks Celery, with leaves, chopped
1 large Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 McCormick Vegetable Stock Cubes
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon dried, ground Sage
3/4 teaspoon dried, ground Thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper

9 cups soft Bread Cubes <—I used to ALWAYS buy the Save On Foods fresh out of the                                                         oven Loaves that you got in a paper bag. They don’t do that                                                       anymore but their in-store baked White or 75% Wheat are                                                       the same product, just bigger, and sliced. 

Melt butter over medium-high heat in large skillet.
Add onion and cook for 3 minutes; stir in minced garlic and continue cooking for another few minutes.
Add chopped celery, vegetable stock cube and water; sprinkle herbs in and stir well.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, tear bread into 2.5cm cubes.
Pour the celery/onion mixture over the bread cubes and toss to coat each piece.

Pour the stuffing into a greased 3.3 litre casserole dish (9×13),cover with lid or Lfoil and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before the turkey is done.
Bake covered in the same oven [325F (160C)] with the turkey for about 45 minutes or until hot through. (You will take the turkey out of the oven and let it stand for about 15 minutes before carving. You can also toss the bread rolls in to warm during that last 15 minutes of oven time)

If you are stuffing a turkey then read on….

as per Betty Crocker,
” 1. Remove giblets if present. Rinse cavity.
2. If stuffing poultry, stuff just before roasting. Fill wishbone area with stuffing first. Fasten neck skin to back with skewer. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill body cavity lightly. (D not pack – stuffing will expand while cooking.) Tuck drumsticks under band of skin at tail, or tie or skewer to tail.
3. Place bird, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter. (I just rub with butter and stuff a few garlic gloves in the wishbone area) Do not add water, Do not cover. Place meat thermometer in thickest part of thigh muscle, so thermometer does not touch bone.  Cook a 16 to 17 pound turkey, unstuffed for about 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours: stuffed for about 4 – 5 hours, at 160C (325F)
When turkey starts to turn golden, place a tent of LFoil loosely over turkey.
Roast until thermometer reads 80C (180F) and juice is no longer pink when centre of thigh is cut; or the drumstick moves easily when lifted or twisted.
When turkey is done, remove from oven and let stand about 15 minutes for easiest carving.”

Crocker, Betty. “Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook.” Recipe. Roasting Poultry. Recipe. Bread Stuffing.   Minneapolis, Minnesota: Macmillan, 1996, p. 293, p.297