Monday, December 8, 2014

Pita Pizzas

Enjoy this pizza pie with luscious tomatoes, rosemary-seasoned ground beef and crumbly feta cheese. The flavours work perfectly with hearty pita bread crust.

Pita Pizzas

  • 6 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 8 ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 6 inches whole wheat or white pita bread rounds
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (1 ounce)
  • 12 pitted ripe olives, halved (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium nonstick skillet, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until meat is browned; drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce and rosemary into meat mixture in skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  2. Carefully split pita bread rounds in half horizontally; place pita halves, rough sides up, in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  3. Top toasted pita bread with meat mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Top with spinach, tomato, feta cheese, and, if desired, olives; serve immediately.

Happy Cooking

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lia's Lasagna Soup

A cool refreshing salad simply does not taste nearly as comforting as a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day.
This Lasagna Soup Recipe has all the traditional flavors of lasagna and comes together for a heart warming meal-in-a-bowl.

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 box Ready to Use 30% Less Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 can Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano Soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 2 cups whole wheat short lasagna-noodle-shaped pasta (mafalda corta)
  • 3 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Spray large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven lightly with cooking spray. Brown beef well at medium-high heat.
  2. Add broth, soup, water, garlic, oregano, pepper and tomato. Heat to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta and reduce heat.
  3. Cover and cook at gentle boil until pasta is tender - about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

If you cannot find mafalda pasta, it can be replaced by any short pasta - rotini, fusilli, bowties or even broken fettuccine or long mafalda.

Garnishing with a few sprigs of fresh oregano, right before serving, gives this dish an enticing appearance and aroma.

Happy Cooking

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lick-the-spoon Good Chili

A hearty bowl of chili warms the body and soul and it's healthy.

  • 1 pound lean – ground beef
  • 1 16 ounce jar of green salsa or enchilada sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can of red kidney beans – ( rinse the beans)
  • 1 large Chopped red bell pepper
  • 6 Chopped cloves garlic
  • 1 large Chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Chilli powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup Water


  1. In a large saucepan, cook the onion, beef and bell pepper at medium temperatures. Ensure that the meat is crumbled so as to facilitate the cooking. Cook until the meat has attained a brown color and is thoroughly cooked.
  2. To this add the garlic, cumin, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. Stir well until the spices reach every part of the mixture, then pour in the salsa and the water, mixing well.
  3. Reduce the temperature to medium-high heat and cook the beef, keeping it covered. Stir occasionally and cook until the beef and the vegetables soften, then add the red kidney beans to the mixture and cook for about a minute. Serve hot!

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Svizzere Hamburgers

Italians have a long tradition of using ground beef in imaginative ways, so it should really come as no surprise that they’ve also applied their cooking skills to patties of ground beef, which are called svizzere (Swiss) in Italian.

The ground beef is seasoned with aromatics and cheese, and mixed with bread to give it a softer texture, then browned in a skillet and served with a sauce - giving it delicious results.

Svizzere Hamburger


For the patties:

  • 500g (1 lb.) ground beef (or 4 beef patties)
  • 1 slice of best-quality bread, crust removed, cut into cubes, soaked in milk to cover and squeezed dry
  • 1 medium onion or 2 shallots, minced and sautéed in butter until soft
  • 100g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • A scrape or two of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the browning and sauce:

  • Olive oil and/or butter
  • 1 spoonful of flour
  • 1 cup of rich beef broth
  • 2 cups of cream

For finishing the dish:

  • A splash of sherry
  • More chopped parsley


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the patties in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly with wooden spoon until smooth and uniform. (If you find the mixture a bit too soft or wet to handle easily, you can add a bit more cheese or bread to stiffen it a bit.) Form the mixture into four round, flat patties.  Sauté the patties in a sauté pan in a combination of oil and butter until they are nicely browned on both sides. Remove the patties from the pan. 
  2. Add a heaping spoonful of flour to the pan and let it cook in the fat for a minute or two. You can let it turn a light brown if you like. Then add the broth, whisking vigorously so it incorporates the flour well. Let the broth come to the simmer; it will thicken up a bit. Then add the cream, mix well, and add back the patties.
  3. Let the whole dish simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced considerably and the patties are done through.  A few minutes before serving, add a splash of sherry and some chopped parsley to the sauce.

Serve your hamburgers immediately, with the sauce on top  and some nice crusty bread or a few steamed baby potatoes on the side.


You can add vegetables—mushrooms for example—to this dish to add more interest. Add the sliced or chopped vegetables to the fat after removing the beef patties and sauté until they are nicely softened and brown, the proceed to add the flour and continue the recipe from there.

Happy Cooking ☺

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pasta Beef and Mushroom Soup

Welcome your family to dinner with a pot of bubbling, flavor-packed soup. It's made easy with this Homemade Hamburger Helper sauce mix.

Pasta Beef and Mushroom Soup


·         1 lb. lean ground beef
·         1/2 cup chopped onion
·         6 cups hot water
·         1/2 cup Home Made Hamburger Helper sauce Mix
·         1 ½ Cups Flat Noodle Pasta
·         1/2 tsp dried basil leaves, crushed
·         1/8 tsp pepper
·         2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
·         1/2 cup canned mushroom pieces and stems, drained
·         2 tbsp.  Dry red wine, if desired
·         2 tbsp.  Chopped fresh parsley

Home Made Hamburger Helper Sauce Mix

Save money while using homemade ingredients when you make this homemade hamburger helper sauce mix.

·         1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
·         1 tablespoon garlic powder
·         2 tablespoons dried parsley
·         1/3 cup instant onion
·         3 tablespoons onion powder
·         1 tablespoon salt
·         1 2/3 cups non-fat dry milk powder
·         3 1/2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules

Yield: 5 1/2 cup servings

1.       Combine mix ingredients.
2.       Store in a food safe storage bag.
3.       Seal and label bag for future use


1.       In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain.

2.       Stir in hot water, ½ cup homemade sauce mix, basil, pepper and garlic. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

3.       Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta, mushrooms and wine. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in parsley.

Happy Cooking

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Halloween Mini Cheeseburger Pies

These are wonderful and easy to have on hand for quick lunches.
The only problem we had is that even though I made a double batch, we still ran out.

Halloween Mini Cheeseburger Pies

Burger Mixture:

·         ½ lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
·         ½ lb ground pork
·         1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
·         1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
·         1 teaspoon garlic salt
·         1 cup shredded Sharp cheese (4 oz.)

Baking Mixture:

·         ½ cup milk
·         ½ cup of your favourite Baking Mix (I used Bisquick)
·         2 eggs

Garnishes, if desired

10 mini kosher dill pickles
1 medium tomato, chopped
Ketchup and mustard


1.       Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

2.       In 10-inch skillet, cook beef, pork and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool 5 minutes; stir in Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and cheese.

3.       In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup burger mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto burger mixture in each muffin cup.

4.       Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and muffin tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of muffins from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve with garnishes.

Happy Cooking

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Easy Ground Beef Casserole with Potatoes and Veggies

A hearty family dinner packed into one casserole dish.

Easy Ground Beef Casserole with Potatoes and Veggies


·         1 lb. ground beef
·         1 medium onion
·         1 large red pepper
·         2 cups frozen green beans
·         1 teaspoon chopped garlic
·         Paprika and pepper
·         4 medium-sized potatoes
·         1 tablespoon of butter
·         1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
·         1/2 a cup milk
·         1 egg
·         3/4 cup shredded cheese


1.       Prep: Peel (4 medium-sized) potatoes & slice. Cover with water and bring to a boil; once boiling, reduce to medium heat and cook for around 14 additional minutes until tender. Meanwhile, dice onion and red pepper.

2.       Brown ground beef.  Add onions and peppers, chopped garlic and frozen green beans Season with a generous amount of paprika and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes longer until the onions are softened and green beans tender. 

3.       MASH POTATOES: When the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander. In the now empty pot, put butter, granulated garlic, salt, Dijon mustard and 1/2 a cup milk. When the butter is melted, add the potatoes back into the pan and mash them. Stir in 1 beaten egg.

4.       ASSEMBLE: Spray an 11-cup capacity casserole dish with canola oil and spread the meat/veggie mix across the bottom. Sprinkle shredded cheese (1/2 cup). Cover with dollops of mashed potato and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with an additional shredded cheese (1/4 cup) and a little paprika.

5.       BAKE: Bake for 20-24 minutes in a 400F oven. 

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beef Chili and Sweet Potato

Don't let busy days keep you from a warm, comforting homemade meal! Here's a comfort food meal that is rich with flavour and can be made in a slow cooker or Crock pot.

Rich in Flavour - Beef Chili and Sweet Potato
Beef Chili and Sweet Potato


·         1 lb. lean ground beef
·         1 tbsp.  canola oil
·         1 medium onion, chopped
·         3 cups   sweet potato, diced
·         2 cloves garlic, chopped
·         1 tbsp. cumin
·         1 tbsp. chili powder
·         1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
·         1 can diced tomatoes, drained
·         1 cup Ready to Use No Salt Added Chicken broth
·         1 can Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano soup
·         ½ cup fresh cilantro


1.       Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and brown the meat.

2.       Add the onions and sweet potato. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

3.       Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook for one minute. Pour the mixture into slow cooker.

4.       Add the kidney beans, diced tomato, broth and the soup to the slow cooker. Mix well and let cook for 4 hours on high.

5.       Add the cilantro and season to taste. Mix well and Serve.

Happy Cooking


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

D’s Chili Cones - Chili in a bread cone

You'll be surprised how easy it is to make these edible cones filled with chili, cheese and corn chips.

·         6 waffle cones
·         Heavy-duty aluminum foil
·         Non-stick cooking spray
·         1 (11 ounce) tube refrigerated French bread loaf
·         2 cans chili (if you’re in a hurry) or make this easy chili recipe
·         1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
·         Corn chips

Here's A Short Video

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.       Carefully cover each waffle cone with a layer of aluminum foil. Spray outsides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
3.       Open tube of bread dough. You should have a long roll. Cut it into 6 even pieces with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Take one lump of dough and place it on a flat, clean surface. Roll it back and forth with hands until you have a long, thin snake. Continue to do this until it measures 36-inches.
4.       Take the strip of dough and begin wrapping it around the foil-covered cone, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Press the end into a lower layer to seal. Set this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do this for the remaining lumps of dough and cones.
5.       Place the cones into a preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees (F) until golden brown.
6.       While the cones are baking, add the cans of chili into a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat.
7.       Remove the cones from the oven and set them on the counter for a few minutes until they are cool enough to touch. Carefully slide the foil-lined ice cream cones out of the bread cones. Stand them upright in narrow glasses to fill.

Sprinkle a bit of cheddar cheese into the bottom of each bread cone. Now spoon the chili in. Top with corn chips and another sprinkle of cheese. Serve immediately. Enjoy!!
Happy Cooking

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Quick Meatloaf Tacos

This ground beef recipe has a lot going for it -- it’s flavourful, fast and easy to cook.

You can even freeze individual slices right in the taco shell to get a quick microwaveable lunch or dinner to go!

Reheat 45 to 60 seconds right in the shell — no more lunch or dinner blues for you or your family!

·         1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
·         1 taco kit (275 g pack)
·         ½ can (14 oz.) refried beans
·         ½ cup    dry bread crumbs
·         ½ cup EACH frozen corn and diced sweet red pepper
·         ¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Taco fixings (optional): shredded lettuce, salsa, sliced green onion, diced tomato

1.       Combine beef, refried beans, bread crumbs, kit seasoning mix and ¼ cup of the kit salsa. Press into lightly greased foil-lined loaf pan.
2.       Combine remaining salsa, corn, and peppers. Sprinkle on top of meat loaf. Bake in 400°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into centre of loaf reads 160°F (71°C). Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes.
3.       Meanwhile, heat kit taco shells according to the package directions. Use foil to lift meat loaf from pan. Cut into 12 slices, placing one slice into each taco shell. Garnish with taco fixings (if desired).

Happy Cooking

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