Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Sandwiches. When I was a kid, that's what I had in my Rainbow Brite lunchbox. Every. Day. Flash forward so many years into the future and I have two littles packing lunchbags to school every day. BOTH of my small people refuse to eat sandwiches and this mama is running out of options.

I have had a lot of success with sending baked goods with the girls instead of sandwiches, and I wanted to try something other than these (awesome) Banana Oat Muffins that I make every other week. While watching tv the other week, we saw an ad for Robin Hood quick breads and the girls wanted to try them. I hit up my fave recipe site and searched for a Cinnamon Bread recipe. I specifically was looking for a recipe that didn't include yeast (like a loaf of bread) and could be made with ingredients that I have on hand all the time.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread 
Recipe adapted from


1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and remaining brown sugar. Combine egg, milk and vegetable oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Pour the remaining half of the batter on top, and then top with the remaining cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for ten minutes. Slice into delicious slices and serve warm if you can!!

I plan on making these into muffins next week for the littles to be able to pack along easier when they go to dance class. When I make them into muffins, I'll modify this recipe with the new cook time.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope I've inspired you a little today!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Menu Plan Monday - Feb 23, 2015

Hello my friends!! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We celebrated our littlest little, Miss E getting ready to turn SIX! Our whole family (except my sister, who had to work) got together for an evening of lasagne, cake and good times.

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes!! That's what I have in my future! Miss E needs cupcakes for her kindergarten class, cupcakes for her Sparks group, and of course, cupcakes for her birthday party this weekend! Throw in a batch of cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend, and I figure I have about 125 cupcakes to bake this week. Hopefully I'll be able to fit some actual food into the plan for the week, too!

This past week was filled with amazingly delicious meals. A few recipes I have shared with you already (Tex Mex Lasagne and Chicken Florentine Lasagne) and another recipe for a Lemon Butter chicken that I will hopefully be able to share with you later this week!

I'm not gonna lie to you guys... this week we are not looking at the worlds most healthy dinners. It's just going to be a crazy busy week and we'll be lucky to have meals that can be cooked in under 20 minutes (because that's about how long we have at home most evenings this week)... wish us luck!!

On the menu this week:

Monday: Spaghetti with turkey meatballs
Tuesday: Tortellini with prawns and homemade alfredo sauce
Wednesday: Chicken nugget sliders and fries
Thursday: Pizza
Friday: Turkey meat loaf, scalloped potatoes and mixed veggies
Saturday: Pizza at Miss E's birthday bash!
Sunday: New recipe! Shrimp & broccoli stir fry and pot stickers

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Chicken Florentine Lasagne

Hello my friends!! Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Today is the ONLY day on our monthly calendar where we have absolutely nothing on the calendar!! I am so excited to be able to sit in my house with my littles and do as close to nothing as humanly possible. We had a lovely family dinner last night celebrating Miss E's birthday - can you believe she turns SIX this week??

So we would be able to have a chilled out, relaxed dinner with the fam, we went with an easy dinner - lasagne, salad and of course, cake! I made two great big lasanges and a big tray of cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce (for the kiddos). For the lasagnes, I made my favorite beef lasagne, a Tex Mex Lasasgne I have shared with you on the blog in the past.

Since not everyone loves meat, I also wanted to make a chicken lasagne for the crowd. I hunted around on Pinterest and found a link to this recipe from I immediately knew that this recipe would be a huge hit, and I was right! It was the first dish completely scraped clean from the pan and it was gone so quickly I didn't even have time to actually take a photo of the completed, cooked slice of lasagne.

The original version of this recipe was cooked right away and served. I needed this for the weekend, so I prepped it on Thursday and froze it until I needed it.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

9-12 whole Lasagna Noodles
½ cup Butter
1 whole Onion, Chopped
1 clove Garlic, Minced
½ cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Chicken Broth
1-½ cup Milk
4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided, Plus Additional 1/4 Cup For Topping
2 cups Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups fresh baby spinach

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, strirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt and simmer until mixture is bubbly.

Add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate pan over medium heat, cook spinach until wilted. Transfer the cooked spinach to the sauce and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the shredded chicken.

Assemble your lasagne by spreading 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese/chicken mixture. Repeat these layers again, finishing with the final 1/3 of the sauce mixture on top.

Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on the top of the dish.

You can bake this dish right away, at 350F for 40-45 minutes. I prepped this dish in advance of Miss E's party, so I froze it and on the day of the party, allowed it to thaw and cooked for about an hour. I put tented tin foil on top for the first 45 minutes of the cooking time, removing for the last 15 minutes to allow the cheese to get all melty and delicious.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I know my family did!! Thanks for stopping by, I hope I have inspired you a little today!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Menu Plan Monday - Feb 16, 2015

Happy Monday morning my friends! Ooops!! Looks like a forgot to blog last week!! After forgetting to menu plan, and being double booked half of the week, I let this piece of life slip. Oh well, back to it today!!

I have found that posting my favorite recipes and sharing them with my friends has allowed people to try some new recipes that their families love. It also means people are sharing their family successes with me! A friend shared her recipe for a Lemon Butter Chicken that I absolutely MUST try out this week.

This weekend we are having a big family dinner to celebrate my littlest one’s 6th birthday – can you even believe it?? I am going to make a couple of gigantic lasagnes this week and put together Miss E’s favorite dessert for Saturday night. It’s going to be a crazy week, but lots of fun!

On the menu this week:
Monday: Dinner out! The hubs is up for an award, this mama is getting all dressed up for dinner tonight!
Tuesday: Shrove Tuesday!! We’re having pancakes for dinner!
Wednesday: Miss A’s cooking tonight – roasted potato wedges, fish and beans
Thursday: Cheeseburgers and fries
Friday: Lemon Butter Chicken
Saturday: Family dinner for Miss E – Tex Mex Lasagne, Ravioli lasagne, Caesar salad and garlic bread
Sunday: A free day on the calendar?? I’m not cooking! Leftovers!
I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

A little bit of garage organization

We all have that place in our homes that, no matter how hard you try, just can't get/stay organized. My house has lots of those places. The place that drives me the most crazy? The garage.

We are very blessed to live in a home with a two car garage. We also make sure to actually park two cars in said garage. That means all the other things we have that don't belong in the house end up in the garage. For us, that meant three bikes, two scooters, a pogo stick, a bazillion pairs of shoes and boots, recycling bins and a ton of other stuff.

This past summer Miss A finally graduated to a mountain bike. At the time, we had the bikes mounted on the wall beside my husband's car. With the old bikes, he was able to get out of the car easily. With Miss A's new bike, he had to duck and dodge and try not to hit his head on the bike when coming into the house.

After reconfiguring a set of shelves to another part of the garage, I set out to my local Canadian Tire store to find a better way to store these bikes. I found these awesome, low profile Mastercraft Bike Hooks for $9.99!!

The hubs and my dad mounted a couple of pieces of wood onto the blank space of wall so that we'd have something solid to mount the hooks onto.

All in, this project took less than an hour and made a HUGE impact on the storage and space in our garage. I had the hubs add a big hook above the bike storage to hold the bike rack that goes on my truck when we take the bikes away with us. It makes me happy every time I drive into the garage. Best of all? I can get the bikes up and down with no trouble at all!!

My Husband and my Dad!! I'm so lucky :)
Thanks for stopping by, I hope I've inspired you a little today!!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Have you ever seen a recipe on Pinterest and knew, instantly that it would be a hit at your house?? I have! Many times, like last week when I tried out these two recipes - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole and Just Like PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps. I pinned this recipe a couple of weeks ago and finally made it last week. It was so good that I made it again tonight!! The girls love loved it and my husband was happy because it makes a big serving of pasta for his dinner.

I found this recipe on and when I ventured over to his site, I found a few other recipes that I can't wait to try out and share with you all. I was worried when I picked a recipe called "Cajun Shrimp" that when the recipe was done it would be too spicy for my girls. No fear, my friends, the Cajun spices brought a smokiness and depth to the flavor of the sauce, it wasn't too spicy at all. I know that you could probably spice up the recipe if you wanted to add more Cajun spice to the sauce.

Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking


8 ounce package of fettuccine noodles
1 tbsp butter
1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
Additional Parmesan for sprinkling on top


Start boiling the water to cook your pasta. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the shrimp and 2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning for about 5 minutes, until done. I used frozen, already cooked shrimp because that's what I had on hand, so it just needed to be heated through. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and save for later.

Using the same pan, add the garlic, chicken broth, whipping cream, Parmesan cheese and Cajun seasoning. Stir gently while cooking until it thickens a bit, approximately 5-7 minutes. Throw the shrimp back into the sauce and stir it all together. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and shrimp. Sprinkle the additional Parmesan cheese on top, serve with some garlic breadsticks (and maybe a salad for a bit of healthiness!!) and let your family eat it all up!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope I've inspired you a little today!!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Menu Plan Monday - Feb 2, 2015

Happy Monday morning my friends! Well, not so happy if you’re a Seahawks fan… I am so happy to say that last week’s menu plan actually worked out for the whole week!! We made everything on the plan and had some great recipe successes!!

I shared the recipe for a super easy, amazingly delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole that my husband said is his favorite dish I have made ever! After sharing and bringing some leftovers into work for sharing, a few of my friends also made the same recipe last week –also with great success!

Tonight we are starting out our dinner plan with a miraculous event. My eight year old child has asked me to make a salad for her for dinner! She’s working really hard to raise money and awareness for heart disease by participating in her school’s jump rope for heart fundraiser. All the kids got booklets with heart healthy tips and ideas, and one was eating more salad. And Miss A agreed!! I’ll let you know how it goes, though my hopes aren’t too high for her asking for salad again!!

On the menu this week:
Monday: Chicken strips and Salad
Tuesday: Chicken fajitas
Wednesday: New recipe – Crock pot cheesy pasta with meat sauce
Thursday: Butter chicken with Rice and Naan
Friday: Family dinner at my mom’s!
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Balsamic chicken, roasted potatoes and mixed veggies

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!


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