My Favourite Recipes

NOTE: newest recipes are at the bottom, so don’t forget to scroll down! 🙂

these are all recipes that I fix quite often in the Ross household; it’s worth noting that most of these are portioned to serve 4-6 people. anything w/a * at the end of the name is kid-friendly, at least in our family.

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Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese*
comfort food that puts “plastic” mac & cheese to shame, and only 6 ingredients to boot (not counting S&P)
Grease inside of small (2- to 3-qt) crockpot w/butter or margarine. Cook 1c elbow macaroni 6 minutes; drain and put in crockpot. Add ~1c shredded  cheddar cheese, 2T melted butter, salt and pepper to taste; stir gently to mix well. Combine 1c milk and ½ c heavy cream and pour slowly over top of macaroni mixture (don’t stir!). Cook on high for ~2-3 hrs or until edges start to brown.

Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup*
this is an original recipe, and my husband swears it’s the best he’s ever had (and he keeps TRYING to find someone who can top it!)
1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed tomato soup
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
1 cube beef bouillon
1 Tbsp (packed) dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp dried sweet basil
¼ tsp onion powder, to taste
½ tsp salt, to taste
¼ c heavy cream

In large sauce pan, combine all ingredients EXCEPT reserved tomato juice and cream. Add water to reserved juice to equal 1 c of liquid; slowly stir into soup. Heat over med-high heat until soup begins to boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes to let flavours blend. Before serving, add cream and stir thoroughly; simmer 5 more minutes. Makes 2-3 large servings or 4-6 side servings.

Chicken & Grape Salad*
flavourful salad is perfect for main course at brunch, luncheon, or a light supper
5-6 chicken breast tenders, cooked and diced
2 c seedless grape halves (any colour)
1 lg stalk celery, diced
2 Tbsps walnuts, chopped
1 c mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt (I like kosher for this)

Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving (leaf lettuce makes an attractive bed).

Cheaters’ Fondue*
this non-traditional recipe is easy and has a slightly tangy flavour that even my kids love
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 c sour cream
1 pkg onion soup mix
¼ tsp dry mustard
½ c shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Combine soup, dip, and mustard in a med sauce pan; mix well and heat through. Stir in cheese and continue to heat until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to fondue pot over med-low heat; serve w/dippers such as appetizer meatballs (cooked – this isn’t an oil fondue for cooking meat), cocktail sausages, fresh mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, French bread cubes, etc.

French Beef Stew*
easy and hearty, w/a surprisingly robust, slightly tangy flavour
2 Tbsps olive  oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb cubed beef stew meat
¼ c all-purpose flour
1 ¾ c beef broth
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5-oz) can green beans, drained
2 large carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ lb fresh mushrooms, halved/quartered
¾ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsps Dijon-style prepared mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

In lg (6 qt) sauce pan, sautee garlic in oil for ~2 mins. Add beef and flour, stirring to completely coat beef w/flour; cook over med-high heat until beef is browned. Add broth, vegetables, and herbs; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, allowing stew to simmer ~1 hr or until beef is tender. Before serving, blend in mustard; season w/salt and pepper to taste. Serve w/hot French bread.

Grandmama’s Best Chili*
my grandmother’s recipe, this is the only red chili I ever fix
1 lb lean ground beef
½ lb spicy sausage
1 tsp minced garlic
½ c chopped green bell pepper
1 can tomato paste
3 cans (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes, slightly drained
2 cans (15.25-oz) dark red kidney beans, drained w/liquid reserved
2 tsps dried yellow mustard
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
sharp cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
sour cream (optional)

In large pot, brown ground beef and sausage. Add onion, garlic, and green pepper; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, LIQUID from beans, and next 6 ingred; simmer 45 mins. Stir in kidney beans; simmer 15 mins longer. Top w/cheese and sour cream, if desired; can be served over rice.

Chicken Special Casserole*
my grandmother had this recipe for so long we’ve forgotten where she got it!
2 c cubed cooked chicken
1 c sliced celery
2 c cooked rice
¾ c mayo
2 stalks green onion, sliced
1 c chopped water chestnuts
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)
1c crushed corn flakes, French-fried onion rings, crushed plain potato chips, or slivered almonds (optional)

Mix first 8 ingred together; put in ungreased casserole dish. Top w/butter and crunchy topping(s), if desired (we like potato chips – great way to use the crushed bits in the bottom of the bag – AND slivered almonds together). Bake at 350° for 35-40 mins; if crunchy toppings start to get too brown, cover casserole w/cooking foil.

Grilled Fish w/Creamy Parmesan Sauce
the foil packets seal in flavour and make these a snap to cook on the grill
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lg onion, sliced
4 frozen tilapia (or other mild-flavoured white fish) filets
¼ c mayonnaise
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (optional)

Preheat grill to medium-hot heat (~325F). Brush center of heavy-duty cooking foil w/canola oil; discard remaining oil. Place ~3 slices of onion in center of foil; arrange one frozen fish filet over onion. Combine mayo, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; spread 1/4 of sauce evenly over fish. Top with 1/2 Tbsp almonds if desired. Bring up foil sides; double-fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make 4 packets. Place on grill rack; cover grill with lid. Grill ~15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Pumpkin & Broccoli Chowder*
don’t let the strange sounding combination of ingredients put you off, this hearty Fall chowder has a wonderful flavour
4 Tbsp butter
1 lg onion, chopped
1 T soy sauce
1 lg ripe tomato, chopped
4 c chicken stock
4 c fresh pumpkin or butternut squash puree (or use canned)
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 bunch broccoli, tops in small florets, stems julienned
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

NOTE: for best results w/this recipe, follow the directions EXACTLY, including the order of ingredients.

Melt butter; add onion and saute until limp but not brown. Add soy sauce and tomato; cook, stirring often, until tomato juice has evaporated. Add stock, pumpkin, syrup, salt and pepper; heat, stirring often. Steam broccoli ~3-4 mins. Stir steamed broccoli into soup, then stir in cream. Cook soup over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and flavours have blended, ~8-10 mins.

Chicken Tortilla Soup*
Quick and delicious
4 c chicken stock
juice of 1 lime (~1 ½ Tbsps)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes w/juice
½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1 (4 oz) can mild green chilies
2 green onions, chopped
¾ cup corn kernels
1 c cooked chopped chicken
salt and pepper, to taste
½ c shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican blend
corn tortilla chips

Simmer chicken stock w/tomatoes, lime juice, jalapeno, green chilies, green onion, and corn for 45 mins; add chicken ~5 mins before done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl w/tortilla chips and shredded cheese, or serve on the side.

New England-Style Seafood Chowder
Rich, hearty chowder is a great way to wrap up a cold day
¾ c milk
4 oz (½ of 8-oz block) cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ c chopped green onions
2 med potatoes, diced (I like Yukon golds)
½ tsp dried parsley
⅛ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp Old Bay seasoning
½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ lb bay scallops
¼ lb crabmeat
1 can (6.5 oz) chopped clams, undrained

Place ¼ c milk, cream cheese, and garlic in large pot over low heat; cook and stir until blended. Mix in soup, green onions, potatoes, parsley, and remaining milk; season w/white pepper and cayenne. Simmer covered for 25 mins, stirring occasionally — DO NOT BOIL.

Mix in shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and clams w/liquid; continue cooking 10 mins or until seafood is opaque. Makes a very thick chowder, can be thinned to desired consistency by gradually adding more milk.

Seafood Cioppino
Italian-style seafood stew is rich, flavourful, and surprisingly easy
¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
2 Tbsps minced garlic
4 tsps dried oregano
2 ½ Tbsps dried basil
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth (I just mix chicken bouillon into 1 c hot water)
20 oz bottled clam juice (~2 ½ bottles)
2 cans (6.5-oz ea) chopped clams, drained and juice reserved
1 lb large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz. crabmeat, flaked
1 ½ tsps Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp white pepper
dash cayenne pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in large heavy pot over med heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, and basil; sautee until onion is tender, ~8 mins. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, clam juice, liquid reserved from clams, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper; increase heat and boil uncovered until slightly thickened, ~15 mins, stirring frequently.

Add clams, shrimp, and crabmeat; reduce heat and simmer covered ~10 mins or until seafood is heated through. Season stew to taste w/cayenne.

Jambalaya*
favourite Creole dish is easy and delicious
1 c uncooked rice (I use basmati)
1 cube chicken bouillon
2 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm onion, chopped
3 tsps minced garlic
½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb med cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced 1/2″ thick
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained slightly
½ c chili sauce
½ tsps dried ground thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
Tabasco sauce

Bring 2c water and chicken bouillon to a rolling boil; add rice and stir. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 20 mins or until rice is tender.

While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in large heavy pot over med-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper; sautee until onion is tender, ~5 mins. Add shrimp and sausage; cook ~8 mins more. Add tomatoes, chili sauce, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes; stir well. Cover; simmer ~25-30 mins, stirring occasionally.

Add cooked rice and mix thoroughly; simmer covered ~5 mins. Season individual portions to taste w/Tabasco.

Spinach-basil Pesto*
Delicious and versatile, this pesto has a robust, zesty flavour
1-1/2 c baby spinach leaves
1/4 c dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 c toasted pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, divided

To food processor, add all ingred EXCEPT olive oil. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, reserving most of oil; blend until nearly smooth, scraping sides of bowl w/spatula as necessary. Drizzle remaining olive oil into mixture while processing until smooth.

Transfer in 1-Tbsp spoonfuls to ice cube trays; cover w/plastic wrap and freeze for ~24 hrs. When cubes are solid, transfer to 1-qt freezer bag for storage (be sure to note date on outside of bag).

TO USE:

  • For pasta, toss 2-4 cubes w/hot pasta. Add grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • For creamy pesto dip, add 2-3 thawed cubes of pesto to 1 (8 oz) block of softened cream cheese and mix thoroughly; serve w/crackers.
  • For pita pizza, thaw 1-2 cubes of pesto; spread on top of pita instead of tomato sauce.

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I’ll add more as I come up w/actual recipes — cooking in my family involves rather a lot of eyeballing ingredients, so coming up w/actual quantities c/b a bit tricky… 😉

12 thoughts on “My Favourite Recipes”

  1. I love checking out other’s recipes. Thanks for sharing. I hope to post more on my food blog, but it takes time! We can swap for sure!

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