Non-Baking: Homemade Skor Bar

Broken pieces of homemade Skor bar in a black plastic box.I’m no baker. I’ve tried and tried again and most of my baking pursuits end up failing miserably. I get the odd one to work and that usually ends up here. But more often than not, I fail miserably at it. I don’t have the best of ovens for baking, which doesn’t help, but I’ve always seen baking as a precise science and cooking as more arts & sciences. I’ve gotten a bit of a knack for cooking, but baking eludes me nine times out of ten. Unless it’s “fool proof”, forget it.

But this is one thing I do relatively well, so I thought I’d share. Continue reading

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Easy Friday Night Meal: open-face hot chicken sammies

A plate holds a couple of open-faced hot chicken sandwiches on hamburg bun halves.Friday night used to mean ‘big meal night’, but with hubby’s shifts being changed a year ago, he has to work Friday night, which leaves me to eat by myself. I don’t mind! This is how it is all week. Occasionally, I’ll make a big meal up but mostly I just fend for myself and do up a big meal the next night when we can share it together.

Tonight, I was craving comfort food, again. In truth, I was craving poutine, but that wasn’t going to happen tonight. But I had some chicken breasts cut up into small bite sized pieces in the fridge that just needed to be cooked up and I had an inspiration. This one doesn’t even deserve a recipe, it’s so simple.

I just quickly fried up the chicken pieces in a little bit of olive oil and butter, sprinkled with some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then I drained this really well. Meanwhile, as the chicken cooked, I quickly whipped up a Club House gravy packet. I could have just as easily pulled some leftover homemade gravy out of the freezer, but I was really hungry and couldn’t wait for it to thaw.

While all this cooked, I tossed two small hamburger buns into the toaster (if they were large, I would have just toasted one). All that was left was to assemble the hot chicken sandwiches. I made them into open-faced sandwiches, spooning the gravy over the chicken. Very filling. Very comforting. Very tasty! Next time, I’d probably cut back on one of the buns and make a salad on the side to balance it or make up some soup for a side to balance it better, or even just steam up some asparagus. But I am now content. 🙂

I’d be interested in hearing what others do for Friday nights, especially if they spend it alone. If you make a healthy meal, good for you (please share)! If you order in, what’s your go-to food? Or if you go for a good comforting meal, please share! I want to hear what everyone’s favourite ‘fall back’ meals are, when they’re just cooking for themselves or curling up for a quiet night! What’s quick and simple for you?

How I saved my overcooked chicken

A plate of egg noodles coated in chopped chicken, cheese and sauce, topped with green onions and shredded cheese.So last night, I knew I had several boneless, skinless chicken breasts which needed to be cooked up but I rapidly found myself running out of evening to cook them in. I thought I’d be clever and throw them into the crockpot with some honey-garlic sauce (VH), onions and a can of pineapple, let it on low and wake up in the morning to fantastic chicken.

Boy, was I wrong. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not good for the crockpot, because they dry out very easily, despite being drenched in liquid. I didn’t realize this.

Hubby said he’d eat it, but I told him to leave it alone, let me think about it and I’d see if I could salvage it and make it more palatable. I had a few ideas after searching through my cupboards. Here’s how I saved my chicken… Continue reading

Shepherd’s Pie: home’s comforts

A white bowl is filled with Shepherd's Pie: ground beef, gravy, peas, corn, potatoes.There is nothing more comforting to me than good ol’ fashioned comfort foods. For each person, “comfort food” means something different. Growing up in an English/Irish home, I grew up with classics such as Shepherd’s Pie. If you don’t know what that is, I’d say you don’t  know what you’re missing — and should explain that it was originally created to use up leftovers. It’s typically a layer of meat with vegetables atop that, coated in a layer of mashed potatoes.

My family makes it from scratch; nevermind the leftovers. It’s a meal into itself these days, and one that always reminds me of my childhood. Here’s how I make mine.  Continue reading