Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Everyone loves a good chocolate chip muffin! This is a great simple chocolate chip muffin recipe, made with whole wheat flour. We adapted it from King Arthur Flour’s Golden Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. We also tested it with milk and buttermilk – both recipes worked great.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter or margarine preferably unsalted
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt reduce to 1/4 tsp if using salted butter/margarine
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  8. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  9. 1-2 cups chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly grease or line a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter or margarine, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Mix until well combined and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in milk. Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir well.
  4. Fill muffin cups with batter - approximately 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 30-32 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes away clean.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Almond Flax Granola

Almond Flax Granola

Granola is a great pantry staple that is perfect for breakfast or topping yogurt for snacking.This easy to make Almond Flax Granola combines whole grain oats with flax to bring you a delicious granola that is family-friendly and full of fibre.

Almond Flax Granola
A delicious, family-friendly granola packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fibre!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups large flake oats
  2. 1 cups almonds chopped
  3. 1/2 cup milled flax seed
  4. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  5. 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. pinch Salt
Instructions
  1. First, preheat the oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, and flax. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla extract, and salt.
  4. Add maple syrup mixture to dry ingredients and mix until coated.
  5. Spread mixture in a thin layer on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir every 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Store your granola in an air-tight container; a mason jar works well. It will keep for a few weeks at room temperature (if it lasts that long!).
  2. PHEc Tip: Keep your milled flax seed in the freezer to lengthen it's shelf life.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Wild Rice Casserole

Wild rice casserole was one of my favourite dishes when I was growing up. It wasn’t a dish that we had on a weekly basis but it did appear on the dinner table somewhat regularly.The recipe required a little bit of planning ahead, so when I noticed my mom boiling the wild rice I knew an amazing dish was coming my way the next day. When I transitioned into adulthood this recipe got lost in the mix, then one day I had the biggest craving for it and immediately messaged my mom for the recipe! Love for certain foods never leaves you.

There isn’t one specific thing that I can put my finger that makes this wild rice casserole my favourite, it’s all good! I’ve always enjoyed the crisp almonds and rice bits on the top but I also really enjoy the creamy mushroom bits in the middle!

I really hope you try out this casserole – it’s certainly not the healthiest dish but it’s simple and delicious!

Wild Rice Casserole

Wild Rice Casserole
This family friendly wild rice casserole is simple to make and delicious!
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup wild rice
  2. 4 tbsp butter, unsalted
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 1 cup celery, chopped
  5. 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 1 can cream of mushroom soup (284mL), low sodium
  8. 1/2 cup almonds, chopped or slivered
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice and Cook according to package instructions. I cooked 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, but this may differ depending on your rice.
  2. Melt butter in a medium frying pan and sauté onion, celery, and mushroom until soft.
  3. Mix together rice, sautéed vegetables, salt and pepper, and can of mushroom soup in a casserole dish and pat flat.
  4. Sprinkle almonds on top and bake covered for 45 minutes- 1 hour at 350F.
Notes
  1. You can substitute 1 can of mushroom pieces for the fresh mushrooms.
  2. I prefer to make the rice the day before and store in the fridge until ready to put the casserole together.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
We hope you’re enjoying some of our family recipes! Be sure to check out our family shortbread and jam-jam recipes from the last few weeks.

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“Jam Jams”

These cookies are my absolute favourites at Christmastime and they are a must-have when we put together a cookie tray. They also hold a special place in my heart, as they were something that I used to bake with my Oma. My mom and I are super lucky, as we managed to get a usable recipe from her, before she passed away. We make them now and I don’t think I’ll ever not make them without thinking about her.

Jam-jams do bear a remarkable resemblance to the very popular Imperial cookies, but they are considerably smaller and the cookie itself is more of sugar cutout cookie. It also gives a better balance between cookie and jam, as I find that Imperial cookies usually end up being too much cookie for the amount of jam.

 

Jam Jams
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 jar jam - raspberry is the best, but apricot will also work, or simply your favourite!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar, egg yolk and flour. Mix until the dough comes together. You can mix the last few crumbs in by hand.
  3. Roll out very thin (between 1/8" and 1/4") and cut with small round cookie cutter - no bigger than 1 3/4" across. A glass will also work if you don't have the proper cookie cutter.
  4. Bake in 350F oven for 10-12 minutes. You want to see just the slightest golden brown edge when baking. These cookies really benefit from keeping a close eye on them.
  5. Once cool, fill them with the jam of your choice and sandwich the cookies together.
Notes
  1. *This recipe really works best if all ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. *The dough can be made ahead of time, and chilled.
  3. *Take the dough out well before you plan on baking (at least an hour). It gets very hard in the fridge and takes time to come to room temperature. You can work the dough a bit with your hands to get it pliable - don't be discouraged if the dough is still very stiff when you begin.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/

 

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Baked Brie with Cranberry Topping

A few weeks ago, we posted a great apple walnut topping for brie, which is a great topping for the cooler evenings of fall. This cranberry topping pairs with the baked brie wonderfully, and it is a classic flavour for the wintry evenings that are coming, not to mention the many Christmas parties that you will be attending!

 

 

Baked Brie with Cranberry Topping
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup cranberries
  2. 1 tbsp lemon juice, bottled or freshly squeezed
  3. 1 tbsp sugar
  4. 1 inch long piece lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Simmer all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, about 10 minutes. Berries will soften and some will burst - this is okay!
  2. Remove lemon zest and place on top of baked brie.
Notes
  1. The topping can be made ahead of time and placed in the fridge, until the brie has been baked. Make sure to warm up before topping the cheese.
  2. For a slightly different flavour, try using orange juice and orange zest instead of lemon.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/

 

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is one of my favourite foods. Not only is it really customizable, it’s cheap, and tastes great in so many applications! This roasted red pepper hummus is easy to make and and can be added to school lunches with veggies, spread on sandwiches, or added to a charcuterie board as an appetizer. 

If you want to take this recipe to the next level try roasting your own red peppers instead of buying them jarred. It makes the recipe a little more complex but the flavour it adds is worth it. 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
A flavourful spread that would be a great addition to any sandwich, lunch box, or appetizer spread.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can chickpeas (540mL), drained and rinsed
  2. 4-5 pieces of jarred roasted red pepper (or roast your own, see note)
  3. 1/4 cup oil (olive or canola would work in this recipe)
  4. 3 garlic cloves
  5. 2 tbsp tahini*
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and add them to a food processor.
  2. Pulse ingredients until smooth.
  3. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
  1. *Tahini is sesame paste, you can also substitute peanut butter if you don't have
To roast a red pepper
  1. Move your oven rack to the top position and set to broil.
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Slice the top of your pepper off, chop into 3-4 pieces, and remove seeds and pith (the white stuff!).
  4. Place peppers on the cookie sheet with skin side up and make them lay as flat as possible (this might mean strategically breaking them or cutting them - this creates an even roast).
  5. Broil for 2-5 minutes. This will depend on your oven, but the goal is to have lots of black bits and bubbles in the skin because it will make the next step easier.
  6. Peel the skin off your peppers. I find a pairing knife works well for this step.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Pumpkin Seeds

Last week, we shared with you how to roast the pumpkin to get some great puree for all your pumpkin baking needs. In an effort to use the entire pumpkin, here is a great way to roast the seeds for a quick and easy snack. While the whole idea of of cleaning out the pumpkin and separating the goop from the seeds is less than desirable, it can be oddly cathartic, and you do get a tasty treat out of them.

 

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
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Ingredients
  1. Seeds from 1 medium pumpkin - cleaned, rinsed, and dried
  2. 2 tbsp canola oil
  3. 1 generous tsp spices - salt, pepper, garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Separate the pumpkin seeds from the goop it is attached to. Rinse them well, until they are no longer slimy, and dry them before putting them into the oven.
  3. Combine the cleaned seeds with the oil and the spices. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 min, stirring every 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you are courageous enough to play with spices, feel free to add a touch of cayenne to give it some spice.
  2. If the pumpkin is on the larger (or smaller) side, adjust the oil and seasonings accordingly. If the pumpkin is larger, increase the oil to 2 1/2 tbsp, and the seasonings to 1 1/2 tsp. If it is smaller, decrease the oil to 1 1/2 tbsp, and the seasonings to 3/4 tsp.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Late summer/early fall is my favourite time of year. There’s so much wonderful produce available and so many options to preserve it. Preserving some of the produce you come across at this time of year allows you to experience the freshness and flavours throughout the winter. 

Today we’re sharing a quick way to keep those garden cucumbers hanging around just a little longer. This is a refrigerator pickle recipe which means we are not hot water canning it, it’s not shelf stable, and it MUST always be kept in the fridge. You can keep these in the fridge for up to two months, but I promise they won’t last that long. 

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles
This quick and easy refrigerator pickle recipe makes about one 2-cup mason jar of pickles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb cucumbers, sliced
Brine
  1. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  2. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 cup vinegar
  6. 1 tsp pickling spice
Instructions
  1. Add sliced cucumbers to a sterilized 2-cup mason jar, set aside.
  2. Add brine ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour brine over cucumbers.
  4. Allow jar to cool for about 1 hour and then refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Notes
  1. These pickles will taste great right away but will become more flavourful the longer they sit in their brine.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

The garden tomatoes are here! Can you hear our cheers through your computer screen?

We’ve been able to pull the first few vine ripe tomatoes out of the garden but we have many, many more green ones that are just waiting to ripen. Sure enough in a few weeks time we’re going to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. 

If you’re like us and you have a hundred in your garden or just want to take advantage of the super affordable tomatoes in store during this time of year, we have you covered. We collaborated with some blogger friends to bring you 25 ways to eat more tomatoes!

25 Ways to Eat Tomatoes

Salads

Quick Heirloom Tomato Salad – Eye Candy Popper

Summer Bounty Grilled Panzanella – The Grey Bell

Roasted Tomato and Olive Panzanella – Sugar Love Spices

Tabouleh – Bon Appet’Eat

The Perfect Simple Tomato Salad – My Kitchen Love25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes 

Canning & Preserving

How to Peel a Tomato for Canning – The Rustic Wife

Simple Roasted Tomatoes – Homemade and Yummy

Green Tomato Chow – My Island Bistro Kitchen

Oven Roasted Tomatoes – Cookery Nation

Moms Chili Sauce – The Rustic Wife

Oven Roasted Heirloom Spaghetti Sauce – Eye Candy Popper

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Condiments & Sauces

Fresh Salsa – River City Cookery

Classic Tomato Sauce – Earth Food and Fire

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Lunch or Dinner

Vegan Scalloped Tomatoes – The Taste Space

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – The Food Blog

Summer Tomato Pasta – My Kitchen Love

Sausage and Eggplant Bucatini with Fennel Tomato Sauce – Diversivore

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Radish and Red Onion in Tomato Vinaigarette – The Yum Yum Factor

Easy One-Pot Classic Ratatouille – Bacon is Magic25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Try Something New

Polenta Tarts with Honey Roasted Tomatoes – Beth Dunham

Catalan Tomato Bread – Bacon is Magic

Tomato Bruschetta – Kitchen Uncorked

Spicy Tomato Cobbler – Joe and Sue

Aged Goat Cheese Tomato Tart – Sugar Love Spices

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

We hope we’ve inspired you to eat more tomatoes! Please share your favourite ways to eat tomatoes in the comments below. 

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Pecan Cranberry Granola Bar

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars

It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks, school will begin, along with numerous other activities, and time for preparation will cease to exist.  You can’t help but ask yourself, what happened to my summer?!  This granola bar is a great option to have on hand when planning lunches or when you need a quick and easy snack.

 

 

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups large flake oats
  2. 1 cup puffed rice cereal (i.e. rice crispies)
  3. 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  7. 1/4 cup honey
  8. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together oats, cereal and coconut in large bowl.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Wait for the mixture to come to a full boil and then let it boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Turn heat down to prevent it from overflowing, but maintaining the boil.
  4. Pour hot mixture over oats. Stir together until the oats mixture is completely coated. Here, you can add in the pecans and the dried cranberries to your mixture before pressing into your pan. Press firmly, so they don’t fall apart when you cut them.
  5. Place in fridge for 20 minutes, or until ready to serve.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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