Valentine’s Day Recap

I am sorry it’s taken so long for me to update this blog. I have a few recipes I want to post, but for the last couple of days I’ve been prepping for and celebrating Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone had an amazing day yesterday and got to celebrate with the one they love most (whether it’s a partner, a family member, a friend, or a beloved pet).

Hubby and I had an amazing day. As previously mentioned we don’t usually celebrate, but this year we decided to. I wasn’t expecting anything but a romantic dinner, but when I came home from work Robert had bought me flowers and two Valentine’s Day cards. He has only bought me flowers once throughout our entire relationship and this time he put so much thought into surprising me. He hid the flowers and the cards, so that when I got upstairs, I didn’t know he’d gotten me anything. Then when he asked me to turn around, there they were! In all their beautiful glory.

After being indecisive for weeks, I finally chose something to make for dinner. Robert and I both like chicken pot pie, and lately, I’ve been longing for some. Since I didn’t have time to make a gluten-free pie crust, I took my mum’s suggestion and made a chicken pot pie shepherd’s pie. Essentially, chicken pot pie with a mashed potato top.

Now, I should let you know I cheated a little. As I get home from work at 6pm, my mum was my sous chef for the day . She had already prepped the mashed potatoes and made the chicken soup. Since Campbell’s has wheat in it, my mum hand-made the chicken soup for me.

Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

2 pieces of chicken

3/4 of a bag of mixed frozen vegetables

Twenty diced mushrooms

1 can of cream of chicken soup

Three big potatoes

3 tablespoons of low-fat milk

1 oz of butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Once cooked, remove from stove and drain water. Add the milk and the butter and mash potatoes to desired consistency.  Put to the side.

Now, cook your chicken. Half way through cooking the chicken, add the mushrooms. When the chicken is almost done, add the mixed vegetables and the soup. Cook until heated through. It’s okay if the chicken isn’t fully cooked because you are putting it in the oven, too. You do want it to be mostly cooked though.

Next, pour the chicken mixture into an 11 x 9 casserole dish. Pour the mashed potatoes on top of the chicken mixture. Cover the potatoes with butter to help them brown in the oven.

Cook the dish in the oven for at least thirty minutes. My potatoes didn’t brown on top, but I knew they were done when the mixture started bubbling. If after thirty minutes your mixture isn’t bubbling, continue cooking until it does.

 

Voila! You are now ready to serve. I really enjoyed it and so did Robert (of course, I can tell he liked the cheesecake more). I do wish I’d found a way to add a little more seasoning, but there was a lot of seasoning in the soup. I have a tendency to pour salt on top of everything so I think that’s just me. Robert loved it as is.

I’m so excited I got to serve it on our Mikasa Love Story plates, too. They were a wedding present from a good family friend and I absolutely love them. They’ve been sitting in their boxes since the wedding though, so I’m so pleased we finally got to use them!

Look out for the cheesecake recipe! I’ll be posting that soon, too!

 

Prepping for Valentine’s Day take 2

I’ll be completely honest. I have NO idea what to make for dinner on Valentine’s Day. While there are so many gluten-free options out there, I feel like I’m struggling to find recipes. Even when I search Pinterest for gluten-free meals, the list comes up short.

If hubby had his way, dinner would already be solved. Heat up a pepperoni pizza and dinner is served! I have to admit, this picture from Pinterest did tempt me a little:

Found on Pinterest originally from Pillsbury.com

But obviously pizza dough has wheat in it. Even though there are ways to make gluten-free dough, I don’t feel like it’s right for Valentine’s Day. I want to do something out of the ordinary, and I think that’s why I’m struggling to choose something.

I did find a recipe for chicken parmesan. This is one of Robert’s favourite meals, and with gluten-free pasta and a few other gluten-free switches, it could work out pretty well.  We had spaghetti on our first Valentine’s Day, so it might be a nice reference to that day. Plus, there’s cute little pepperoni hearts on it.

 

Found on Pinterest, originally from mynameissnickerdoodle.com

The chicken parmesan is a strong possibility, but I’m not excited about it. I could definitely eat it, but I’m just not thinking “YES that’s the meal.”

I keep searching Pinterest and only finding more desserts (which completely distracts me from the task at hand). Casseroles are definitely high on my list of favourite recipes. Maybe a chicken and broccoli casserole?

Oh dear, I just don’t know. Do you have any suggestions? What’s a good meal for Valentine’s Day?

 

Prepping for Valentines Day

Robert and I don’t usually celebrate Valentines Day. The only time we made plans was our first year. I’d never had a date for Valentine’s before, so I wanted to know what it was like. We’d been together for a little over a month and I had no idea how to cook. So I dressed the table with rose petals and candles and made the simplest meal I could – spaghetti and meatballs. Of course, my mum had to help me otherwise we would have had crunchy pasta for dinner.

There it is! The table from our first Valentine's Day!

We haven’t celebrated since our first year together. While I always get drawn in by the aisles and aisles of heart shaped goodies, I don’t see the point in designating one day for love. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so I want to be mushy every day. Like I said though, the heart shaped sprinkles and cookie pans get me every time. I have visions of making whoopie pies, cookies, and puddings all in the shape of hearts! It’s particularly bad this year since we’re newlyweds. So we’ve decided to semi-celebrate. We’re not going out for dinner and a movie, but I am making a special meal and dessert for us. After all, I can cook now and I love preparing dinner for us.

So here comes the fun part- deciding what to make!  I want this meal to be special, so I turned to Pinterest for all the fun ideas. Here’s a few recipes I have in mind. Today I’m just posting the desserts, but next blog I’ll share my dinner ideas!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

This picture makes me drool!

Found on Pinterest, originally from loveveggiesandyoga.com

Carrot Cake Donuts

Robert has been pointing out donut recipes for a while and I’ve always been too intimidated to try them. As if they are somehow out of my league because I’m still a baking newbie; however, I do love a challenge and I definitely want to try them.

Found on Pinterest, originally from abeautifulmess.typepad.com

Cheesecake

One of Robert’s favourite desserts and one of the items on my foods to conquer this year.

Found on Pinterest, originally from marthastewart.com

The last idea I don’t have a picture for, but I’m thinking heart shaped Peanut Butter and Jelly Whoopie Pies. I have no idea how I’m going to decide, but I suppose it will be whatever I feel like eating on the day of. I know Robert won’t mind what I make, as long as it’s something he enjoys.

What do you have in mind for Valentine’s Day? Have you searched through Pinterest as much as I have?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve! Hubby and I got dinner from Chilis and just snuggled up at home to watch the ball drop. I also did a considerable amount of internet surfing to watch the fireworks in England. I miss home a lot recently and really wish I could have seen the London fireworks in person. Hopefully we’ll get to go back again soon. I wouldn’t have spent this New Year’s any differently though. It was our first as Mr. and Mrs. and it felt so cozy to be snuggled up together at home.

This morning I cooked breakfast for my family. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I’m always really excited about what I make. There are some days I could eat scrambled eggs, pancakes, and other breakfast delectables for dinner and be perfectly happy. So this morning I made something my mum had seen and liked the sound of; orange carrot muffins. They turned out really well. I would have prefered a slightly stronger orange taste, but it was a nice, subtle hint, so even without the strong flavour they tasted really nice. Perfect for a light breakfast (as we are having a roast dinner later today).

Even better, they are calorie friendly!

Orange carrot muffins

Source: Taste of Home: Breakfast and Brunch

Ingredients:

2 cups of shredded carrots

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup of butter (I used the Smart Balance kind)

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of sugar

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

3 teaspoons of grated orange peel

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine your butter and sugar. Once light and fluffy, add your eggs followed by your orange juice. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the orange peel, baking powder, flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves. Once everything is blended, add to the juice/sugar mixture, and stir well. Lastly, add the carrots.

Place in the oven for 18-22 minutes. I think I made mine a little bigger than recipe calls for (I’m bad at that) so mine took closer to 22 minutes (maybe even a little over). Just make sure to check batter with a toothpick.

Calorie information (straight from Taste of Home: Breakfast and Brunch): calories: 173, fat: 6g, saturated fat: 2 g, cholesterol: 35mg, sodium: 156 mg, carbohydrate: 25g, fiber: 1g, protein:3g.