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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Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

It’s only the beginning of August, but back to school is already on our mind. 

Back-to-school time brings full days, busy nights, and struggles with getting nutritious foods on the table and into lunch boxes. We’ve all been there, but experience has shown us that just a little bit of planning ahead will help you keep on top of things.

One of our favourite make-ahead snacks are muffins, and these whole wheat raspberry muffins are sure to do the trick. These muffins are a simple and delicious snack packed full of fibre and fruit, to help keep you fuller longer. 

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

We really like this recipe for a number of reasons. Fresh berries, when not in season, can be a fortune and this recipe works well with fresh or frozen berries. It’s also very quick to throw together and we include common kitchen ingredients. 

Look no further for your go-to back-to-school muffin!

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter or margarine, increase to ½ teaspoon)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1 ½ cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar, mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, or line your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time - beat well after each addition.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in the milk and both the vanilla and the almond extracts. Mix till smooth. Stir in the berries quickly.
  5. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

This back-to-school season we hope to bring you nutritious, time saving recipes that are sure to please everyone in your family! Follow along this fall as we share our favourites.

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Overnight Pizza Crust

Overnight Pizza Crust

This overnight pizza crust is a great potential time saver, if you are like me and you like to meal plan as much as you can.  The dough can easily be made one day ahead and left to sit till you’re ready.  You can even freeze it for use at a later time.  

And when it comes to toppings?  You can literally put anything you want on it.  Change up the sauce and use pesto instead of regular tomato sauce.  Do an all veggie pizza with some great fresh produce from your garden.  Do an all meat pizza for those who don’t seem to enjoy the veggies as much as you might.  Do both so you can please everyone!  Top with spinach, while it’s hot out of the oven, to get an even fresher pizza.  Just a few ideas to get you thinking…

Overnight Pizza Crust
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup all purpose flour
  3. 1 cup semolina
  4. 1 ½ tsp salt
  5. active dry yeast
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil
  7. 1 ¼ cup warm water, not hot
Toppings
  1. ½ - ¾ cup tomato sauce
  2. 2 cups assorted veggies: green/red peppers, red onion, tomatoes
  3. 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook. Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Add the olive oil and pour the warm water in a steady stream.
  2. Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, increase the mixer speed and knead for 2 minutes.
  3. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  4. Flour your work surface and hands WELL.
  5. Turn out the dough onto the surface and fold in thirds, like you would a letter.
  6. Turn and fold again in thirds. Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rest overnight until you are ready to use it.
The next day
  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a cookie sheet to make a rectangular pizza, which is great for a crowd.
  2. Have a well floured work surface ready for the dough. Turn the dough out onto the surface. Flour the dough well and begin to stretch or roll. You can begin this on your work surface, and finish it in the pan.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. You want the cheese to be nice and bubbly and the crust to be golden brown on the edges. You can also check the bottom carefully by lifting up a corner with a spatula.
Notes
  1. You can top this pizza with pretty much whatever strikes your fancy. Veggies from the garden, deli meats, Italian sausage, many kinds of cheeses...let your imagination go wild!
  2. Feel free to also cut the dough in half once it's made, so you can make two thinner pizza crusts instead of just one thicker crust.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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