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Cherry Tomato Bake

I can safely say that rarely a day goes by without a tomato crossing my lips. I love them. That’s why this Cherry Tomato Bake is a household favourite. It takes very little time to throw together and it’s a terrific side dish with meat or fish. It also brings through that roasted flavour I love so much without the hours of time it usually takes.

Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamins A, C and K. They also help ward off disease and improve general health. Tomatoes have it going on, so try and slip this recipe and others in your diet on a more regular basis. Don’t refrigerate your tomatoes when you bring them home, as they tend to get mushy and lose their flavour. Store them at room temperature on your counter and use within two to three days of bringing home from the grocery store so they don’t lose all their nutrition. Finally, as if you weren’t convinced on all of the benefits of eating tomatoes, you should also know they are considered a negative calorie food. Huh? Who knew?

cherry tomato bake

Cherry Tomato Bake

2 227g or 8oz containers cherry tomatoes
2 slices white bread
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tbsps fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Layer washed and dried cherry tomatoes in 8″ baking dish and sprinkle crumb mixture over top, drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Bake until browned and tomatoes are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

cherry tomato bake

Pleasantville Note: White bread really works best because I can see you thinking you’ll just slip in some brown, but trust me. Also, this is great as a side but also works tossed with pasta for a quick lunch if you have leftovers.

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Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing



I recently had the opportunity to test the new Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressings. What I love about these dressings is that they’re made with real fruits and vegetables, have no artificial flavors or colors and, most important in this post-heart attack home, is that they are also low in salt and fat.

I’m happy to share the recipes I tried with Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressings because they each have a bold, fresh taste that is perfect for salads, but also because I found them extremely versatile and perfect for so many other recipes. I tried these dressings with greens, which were delicious by the way, but I also set out to see what else I could use these dressings in.

So without further adieu, meet the versatile Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressings, perfect for salads and so much more.

Fire Roasted Tomato with Basil Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing

1 lb fresh pasta
Assorted vegetables for roasting (I used eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Kraft Fire Roasted Tomato with Basil Dressing
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 400F. Slice zucchini, eggplant, and red onion, and tomato in 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Roast in oven 25 to 30 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Toss occasionally while in oven to ensure even roasting. About ten minutes before vegetables are done, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and throw in a large bowl. Remove vegetables from oven and cut larger pieces into bite size. Toss vegetables, pasta and dressing in bowl. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese on top and serve immediately.

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing

Salad Option:Toss fresh watercress and cherry tomatoes with Kraft Fire Roasted Tomato with Basil. Serve with sliced baguette.

Roasted Yellow Pepper, Garlic & Lime Guacamole

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing

I actually took this recipe from the side of the bottle, since I’m a huge guacamole fan. Also, avocados, are good for the heart.

2 avocados, chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/3 cup Kraft Roasted Yellow Pepper, Garlic & Lime Dressing

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing Guacamole 2

Salad Option: Toss baby greens, chopped tomato, cucumber and a handful of cilantro with Kraft Roasted Yellow Pepper, Garlic and Lime Dressing.

Berry Balsamic Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressingn Goat Cheese Appetizer

Inspired by a recent trip, this recipe is a great appetizer and is extremely simple to make.

4 oz goat cheese
Half a square of store bought puff pastry
1 egg for egg wash
1 cup of each of Honeydew and Cantaloupe melons
8 tbsp Kraft Berry Balsamic Dressing

Preheat oven to 425F. Beat one egg with 1 tbsp water for egg wash. Wrap goat cheese log in pastry and place on rimmed baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile drizzle 1 tbsp of Kraft Berry Balsamic Dressing on each plate, add a tablespoon each of Honeydew and Cantalouple melon. Slice log into 8 and place each piece on top of dressing and melon. Drizzle a little more dressing on top if you desire.

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing Goat Cheese Appetizer

Salad Option:Toss fresh baby spinach with halved strawberries, chopped walnuts, and red onion with Kraft Berry Balsamic.

Garlic Parmesan with Roasted Cauliflower Warm Potato Salad

Kraft Fruit & Veg Dressing Warm Potato Salad

3 lbs fingerling or baby potatoes
4 oz pancetta, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
1/2 cup Kraft Garlic Parmesan with Roasted Cauliflower Dressing

Boil potatoes until soft. While potatoes are cooking, fry up pancetta until crisp. Drain potatoes and let cool slightly until you can handle them and then slice in half in a large bowl. Toss with crisp pancetta, green onions, dressing and Parmesan. Spoon onto plate and sprinkle a little more Parmesan on top before serving.

Kraft Fruit and Veg Dressing Warm Potato Salad 2

Salad Option:Try a traditional Caesar salad here with fresh, crisp romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, bacon, and croutons tossed with Kraft Garlic Parmesan with Roasted Cauliflower.

 

Looking for some inspiration of your own? Kraft Canada has an incredible salad creator to help you come up with your own masterpiece.

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This is a sponsored post by Life in Pleasantville on behalf of Kraft Canada.

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Homemade Baked Beans

Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the….ooops, pardon me, that just slipped out.

I can’t help it. Today I made these incredible homemade baked beans and I am reaping the rewards. Stinky farts you ask? Well yes silly, because there’s release in that if done when no one is around to hear it. Also beans are super good for you, helping to lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure to name two. Finally, they’re a comfort food that’s good all year round. Homemade baked beans are good with eggs for breakfast, lunch in a thermos, dinner with a ham or alone with warm bread. Beans are also great for parties to put out on a buffet table and are fabulous cold at a picnic. They really are the magical fruit.

homemade baked beans

These beans for made from scratch, but are stupid easy. However, if you are in a huge rush, you can try these Coffee Beans & Bacon I shared over at Ghetto Foodie.

Homemade Baked Beans

1 lb white pea beans or navy beans
5 cups cold water
6 bacon slice
2 small onions, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
More water to cover beans while baking.

homemade baked beans for dinner

Rinse beans and remove any bad ones. Soak in cold water overnight in a large bowl. Drain.

Place beans in large pot and pour 5 cups of water over them. Cover and bring to boil, then turn to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until almost soft. Meanwhile in large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp. Remove, leaving bacon grease behind, and tear into bite size pieces. Over medium-high heat, cook sliced onions and garlic until starting to turn a light golden colour. Remove from heat. When beans are done, drain and then pour into Dutch oven. In a small bowl, mix together sherry vinegar, brown sugar, prepared mustard, molasses, ketchup and chili sauce. Pour over baked beans and stir well. Sprinkle bacon pieces on top and cover with enough water to cover beans. Cover and place in 250 F oven for 6 to 7 hours. Check beans occasionally through to the day to see that they are not drying out and add more water if necessary. Remember you want the sauce to be thick though and not too runny so don’t overdo it.

Pleasantville Note: Do not, I repeat, do not put your head under the covers at night. You’ve been warned.

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Good Eats Friday

Good Eats Friday is here again. Woohoo! So much deliciousness to share with you today and since it’s March Break for many, I’m going to include a few more than usual in order to give you lots to try in the kitchen this week.

Maple syrup season is here! Best season of the year if you ask me. Earlier this week, I posted my own favourite for this time of year, Maple Oatmeal Scones. Then I came across this recipe for Maple Baked Lentils on Eat Whole Be Vital and I knew I would have to add these in sometime this season. It’ll help balance out the naughtiness of my recipe.

Ultimately though, maple syrup is best poured over something, like these delicious Pecan Blender Waffles from Merry With Children.

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Speaking of breakfast, this Granola-Topped Apple-Pear Breakfast Crisp from Ottawa Valley Moms would be perfect to try this week as well. And, I don’t see why you couldn’t drizzle a little maple syrup on top either. Just sayin’.

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Heather from Home to Heather, had me at bacon. This recipe for Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Spinach and Mozza Filling had me drooling.

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I’m intrigued by Andrea’s claim that Marla’s Black Bean Soup is the easiest soup to make EVER. I may take her up on that challenge this week because this soup looks incredible.

 

Just around the corner is St. Patrick’s Day and I’m encouraging my kids to throw a little shin-dig. I’ll be sending them here for food inspiration, like this Guinness Beef Stew from Kitchen Counter Chronicles.

guinness+stew+button

Or this Corned Beef Hash from Foodie Prints.

corned beef hash

Don’t forget to add some roasted vegetables on the side, like this recipe from Amanda at Canadian Moms Cook.

As usual, Rebecca from A Little Bit of Momsense, is way ahead of the rest of us and she’s already coming up with Easter goodies, like these super cute Easter Bunny Cookies.

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Last but not least, you can’t end all this without a little bit of sweetness. Loving these Banana Split Bars from Echoes of Laughter.

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Good Eats Friday

It’s time for Good Eats Friday again and I know you’re starting to like this weekly post! Why wouldn’t you? Loads of great recipes delivered to you just in time for the weekend. Let’s get right to it because I know you want to start your weekend meal planning.

First and foremost I am all over these loaded potato crisps from Joanna at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs . Also, I’m in love with her site. Really, spend some time poking around there.

Loaded-Potato-Crisps11

Next, I’m loving the “summer eating” vibe of this Chickpea Salad with Flank Steak from Jennifer at Kitchen Counter Chronicle. I’m feeling the push toward lighter eating now that *gulp* swimsuit season is drawing nearer.

chickpea salad final bowl

Growing up my family had good Italian friends that pretty much are responsible for my heavy dependence on pasta today and all things with pancetta. One of my favourite Italian dishes was Italian Wedding Soup which Amanda from The Best Mom on the Block has nailed in this post. Looks divine.

italianweddingsoup2

I love that Heather from Home to Heather uses Liquid Smoke in her pulled pork recipe too. For true Southern Pulled Pork taste, you gotta have the liquid smoke.

pulled-pork-recipe

This Chicken Thighs Over Veggies and Couscous looks healthy and delicious and as I’ve mentioned before, that dreaded swimsuit season is right around the corner. Crystal from Ottawa Valley Moms has obviously figured this out too.

good eats friday

Finally, talk about fusion food, check out these Korean Barbecue Tacos from Don at FoodiePrints. Drool.

good eats Friday

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Lemon Bars Made Simple

Today, I’m loving lemon bars. Snowmageddon Part Deux or Trois, I can’t keep up, is on it’s way today, this second last day of February and I’m trying hard not to get cranky. I am so over this winter. But the signs are there that spring is just around the corner. The days are getting a little bit longer and the cold is not quite as cold as it was and there are tulips in the stores which means tulips in the ground can’t be far behind. So when life hands you lemons, make lemon desserts is what I say.

There’s this Lemonade Cake or this divine Lemon Crème Brûlée Tart which are sure to pick up any winter weary souls spirits. For the ultimate in simplicity though you can’t beat these Simple Lemon Bars. No late winter storm is going to get me down with these lemon bars in the house. No sirree, I’m going to stare at my tulips and nibble on a little bit of summer and ignore that storm outside.

lemon bars

Simple Lemon Bars

Crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsps finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
Pinch salt

Filling

6 large eggs
2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 13x9x2 baking pan with foil and butter the foil.

In a large bowl combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, zest and salt. Using a mixer on low speed, beat just to blend the ingredients. Add the butter pieces and beat until the largest pieces are about the size of a pea. Dump the contents into your baking pan and firmly and evenly press the dough over the bottom and up the sides by 1 inch. Bake until the edges are lightly browned about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temp to 300F.

While crust is baking, break eggs into a large bowl and whisk until just blended. Add the granulated sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk until smooth. Sift the flour into the bowl and whisk until incorporated. Slowly pour the filling over the crust. Carefully return to oven and bake until the filling doesn’t wobble when the pan is shaken — 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover and transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Lift using aluminum foil and place on cutting board. Cut into 48 squares. Sift with confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator. Give these lemon bars to winter distressed family and friends to let them know spring isn’t far away.

lemon desserts

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Good Eats Friday

TGIF. Seriously. Now that my kitchen is done, I’ve been living for the weekends so that I can entertain again. Up this weekend: salad with goat cheese,  rack of lamb, mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, and Pavlova for dessert. Yummy.

And that, to me, is what the weekend is about — good food, good friends. So here are a few delicious recipes to get your through your weekend. Cheers.

I have two recipes from Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fish Bowl this week.

The first is this Ginger Noodle Soup which just screams comfort to me.

ginger noodle soup

And the second is this Peanut Butter & Chicken recipe.

peanut butter and chicken

Next, Nicole from Domesticated Momma got me all excited with this recipe for slow cooker mac & cheese. I’m not a fan of margarine, so I’d sub in butter, but aside from that I think this would be a great treat.

crock pot mac and cheese

I love making my own salad dressings, mostly because I don’t add any ingredients I can’t pronounce unlike the grocery store versions. This recipe for homemade ranch dressing from Rebecca at A Little Bit of Momsense sounds delicious.

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Finally, I’m a carb addict and this recipe from Don at FoodiePrints for pasta with ricotta has my tongue wagging.

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Kale Chips – Make Your Own

I love chips. Chips and me go way back to my formative years, where we would curl up on the couch together and watch Gilligan’s Island. Chips are the best thing ever. Kale chips? Not so much.

BUT, since you-know-who had a heart attack, I’ve been questioning my relationship with chips. Shhhhh. I’m not quite ready to share this info with chips yet. You just don’t break up with someone you’ve been with that long overnight you know. I am however, sourcing out other options and when I first heard kale chips, I laughed and laughed and dipped a chip in some dip.

You can’t say I’m not adventurous though. I brought in the kale and decided to put this whole kale fad to the test. Look at my chips? Don’t they look so betrayed?

kale vs chips

You should know that in a pinch kale makes excellent pom-poms. Go Kale!

kale pom poms

And colour me surprised, but I really enjoyed these. Even more surprising, so did my family. Go figure.

enjoying kale chips

Kale Chips

2 bunches of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F (convection if possible) Carefully rip leaves from stem and tear into bite size pieces. Rinse clean and dry in a salad spinner. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide kale between two sheets. Drizzle one tbsp olive oil over each tray. Toss to distribute olive oil and spread kale evenly over pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt on each sheet. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until leaves are dry and are beginning to brown on edges. Remove from oven and let cool.

Toss in a bowl and then curl up on couch to watch Gilligan’s Island.

kale chips in bowl

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Love Bait

By Candace Derickx

I can’t lie to you and tell you this is an original post. It’s not. I’m totally recycling this from my post last year for Bunny Bait. Why you ask? Because I was desperately seeking another occasion to make the crack, er, I mean popcorn.

love bait

The truth is I’ve been pining for it since last April. So with a little changeroo of the name, now you have Love Bait. I’m also sure I can work it in for other holidays — Canada Day/Beaver Bait, Labour Day/Work Bait, Thanksgiving/Turkey Bait, Halloween/Witch Bait, Christmas/Elf Bait. You see where I’m going here, right? There are MULTIPLE opportunities to make this through the year. You’re welcome.

Love Bait

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
12 oz. white chocolate candy melts (available at Bulk Barn)
1 1/3 cups pretzel sticks
1 12 oz. bag red and pink Smarties or M&M’s

Directions:

Make popcorn…..the easy, healthy way. Pour into a large bowl, removing any unpopped kernels. Toss in pretzels and Smarties. Melt white chocolate in microwave safe bowl on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Drizzle half of melted white chocolate over popcorn mixture, then stir, tossing gently a few times with rubber spatula. Then drizzle remaining half of melted white chocolate over popcorn, and gently stir until evenly coated. Do not overstir. Pour mixture into a single layer onto parchment paper. Allow to cool and harden, then gently break into pieces. Give to people you love for Valentine’s Day.

love bait to give

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Good Eats Friday

by Candace Derickx

So much deliciousness to bring you this week, let’s get right to it!

First, I love food that’s bad for you. Really. So this recipe from Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fishbowl is right up my alley. Bring on the homemade pogo dogs! homemade pogo dogs

Candied bacon? Seriously, could this week of recipes get any better? Rebecca from A Bit of Momsense got me excited with this recipe.

candied bacon blt

This recipe from Nicole at A Domesticated Momma makes me want to crack open a Guinness and listen to The Girl with the Black Velvet Band.

crockpot beef stew

Considering we’re stuck in the middle of Snowmageddon today, this recipe from Amanda at The Best Mom on the Block sounds like the perfect thing for supper tonight. Mmmmm, comfort food.

caraonionmacandcheese2

In case you missed it, this week was World Nutella Day?! What? Not that I’m anti-Nutella, but a day? Anyway, Don at FoodiePrints decided to join in the revelry and made these Homemade Nutella Waffles. So maybe World Nutella Day isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Nutella Waffles

Finally, I just unbuttoned the top of my jeans just writing this post. So, I’m going to round it out with this fantastic Superfood Granola from Jayda at Eat Whole Be Vital.

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