Quick and Healthier Dan Dan Noodles

Quick and Easy, Healthier Dan Dan Noodles

Does anyone NOT like noodles? Because if there is someone that doesn’t, I’ve certainly never met them. I personally could not live without them – not that I have them every day, but I enjoy them when I have them. Unfortunately for me (and my family) I’ve had a couple of major noodle fails lately. Fortunately, these Quick and Healthier Dan Dan Noodles made up for it. As with many other recipes I post, I’ve been making these noodles for years, and tweaking along the way. To get them tasting (and nutritionally) how I like, I’ve switched from pork to ground turkey and used more of it, used low sodium soy sauce and increased red pepper flakes and rice vinegar. With all those changes made, I would think that this is no longer a traditional Sichuan dish. However, Hubby has been to China several times now, and he says these noodles are very much like what he eats there. I just think they taste great and I love that they’re so quick and easy to make – in this case I don’t really care too much whether they’re authentic or not. But now I’m going to stop talking about food … Read more…

Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower Wraps

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Wraps 2

Guess what I’ve got for you today. One of my very favorite quick and easy, healthy meals – Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower Wraps. Perfect for Meatless Monday.  These wraps are super fast to whip up – they can be on the table in only about 15 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been living off of these quick and easy meals lately. Baby J still takes 2 naps, which means that I can’t get out of the house to get stuff done until after the second one. Then I rush around getting groceries or doing whatever only to get home barely in time for supper. Thank goodness quick meals like this exist or I’d be eating a lot more frozen convenience foods or grabbing takeout more often (I won’t lie – both of these options happen sometimes too). And these tasty chickpea wraps are super flavorful, unlike some speedy recipes. Their flavor comes from curry powder, cumin, mustard seed and hot sauce. The recipe was inspired by a roti wrap I had once at a Caribbean booth at Heritage Festival in Edmonton a few years ago. I don’t even remember what was in it – some type of meat and … Read more…

Fruit Cocktail Spice Cake and Efficicient Spice Storage

Fruit Cocktail Spice Cake

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you for a long time – Fruit Cocktail Spice Cake. My mom made it for us kids when I was growing up, and her mom made it for her and her brothers when she was growing up. So this recipe has now been made for 3 generations. I tried to find out where the recipe originally came from, but neither my mom nor my grandma could remember. My grandma’s recipe is handwritten, with no clues as to who may have written it. Mine and my mom’s are typed out versions of that handwritten recipe, and now I’m putting it on the internet for all to see.  ***Disclosure: I did not receive financial compensation for this post, but I did receive a spice rack to review and photograph as part of this post. All opinions I present are my own and not influenced in any way. But before we get to that retro fabulous recipe, I want to talk a little bit about spice storage. Despite the generous amount of storage I have in my kitchen, including an entire cabinet dedicated to spices, I could not seem to get a handle on storing … Read more…

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Do you have a go to party snack? These Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are my latest one. I discovered them this past summer when my garden was over run with jalapeno peppers and I was looking for recipes that would use mass quantities of them at once. Hubby and I fell in love with them instantly, and I have made them several times since. These spicy morsels of cheesy goodness take only 4 ingredients to make, and unlike jalapeno poppers you would find in most restaurants, they are baked – no frying involved. However, they’re a little tedious and time consuming to make. After cutting and removing ribs and seeds of the jalapenos, spooning the cheese mixture into each jalapeno halve and wrapping each one with bacon, quite a lot of time will have passed. The good news is that they’re totally worth it (I would NOT have gone through all this work so many times if they weren’t)! The other good news is that you can totally make these ahead of time. They can be assembled and refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use them. In fact, I have 4 freezer bags full of them in my freezer right now, … Read more…

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Puffed Wheat Squares

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Puffed Wheat Squares

Well, here I am again with another quintessential Canadian treat – and it’s not even Canada day or anything! This time I made fancy puffed wheat squares – I’m calling them Chewy Chocolate Cherry Puffed Wheat Squares. But really they’re just regular old puffed wheat squares with dried cherries in them for a little extra Yum. Puffed wheat squares, like Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars, are a sweet Canadian treat that have been a regular part of my Mom’s and/or Grandma’s baking repertoire for as long as I can remember. I’m not the only one that loves the chewy chocolate treat. In fact it was one of the most commonly searched for recipes on Google Canada in 2015. However, unlike Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars, I had no idea that they were distinctly Canadian until very recently. This made me want to share the love with my new American friends. Try it, you’ll like it – I promise! These chocolately treats are sticky, chewy and delicious, and almost as easy to make as good ol’ rice krispie squares. I say “almost” because it does take a little more mixing and boiling of ingredients, but after that it’s all just stirring.  … Read more…

Cream of Dill Pickle Soup

Pickle soup

What??? Yes….pickle soup. It is exactly as it sounds. Soup with pickles in it. Yes it’s good, and no, I’m not pregnant. I had never heard of this soup before meeting my husband, and he raved about it after trying it at a friend’s house. I like pickles, so I decided to give it a try too. I browsed the internet for recipes, and found that it is actually a real thing. I tried a few recipes, added and subtracted ingredients and eventually came up with my own recipe for Cream of Dill Pickle Soup. When I was developing this recipe, I knew I wanted it to be creamy (but not laden with fat), chunky, a little meaty and have a strong pickle flavor. I dislike soups that are thin with no substance to them. The creaminess comes from the addition of milk and evaporated milk at the end of the cooking. I always use evaporated milk in my soups to provide creaminess without all the extra fat that you would get from cream. I used red potatoes, onions and cut up dill pickles to provide the chunks in the soup. The meatiness comes from the addition of extra lean … Read more…

Mexican Street Corn Fritters

Mexican Street Corn Fritters

I don’t know what the weather is like in your little corner of the world, but here in Wisconsin, it’s been leaving me feeling like summer is just around the corner. Sunny and warm, it’s probably the first time ever that I’ve had the windows open in early March. However, I still know in my brain that it’ll be several months still until I’m eating fresh corn right off the cob. So I made the next best thing – Mexican Street Corn Fritters.  Corn fritters (and zucchini fritters, and pretty much any kind of vegetable fritters) are something I make regularly in the summer, with my abundance of fresh vegetables. And Mexican Street Corn is something I make as often as possible when sweet corn is in season. I had a bag of frozen corn in the freezer, so I thought why not combine two of my favorite summer dishes and make it a winter friendly dish? It worked. I know that frozen vegetables are not at the top of many people’s grocery lists. And to be honest, most of the time they’re not at the top of mine either. But in the winter, when the produce department is slim pickin’s, … Read more…

Caramelized Onion and Sauteed Mushroom Quiche

Caramelized Onion and Sauteed Mushroom Quiche

HI! I’m back, after a brief 2 week hiatus. I decided to take a break while visiting with my parents and sister. They came for a mid-winter visit. Though most of our time was spent being lazy at home, we did get out to see some sights. Of course we went to see the Wisconsin State Capitol, and went for lunch at the Old Fashioned. We also took advantage of the beautiful winter weather we’ve been having and went on a quick visit to the Zoo. Then we loaded up the minivan my parents rented, and went for a weekend drive to buy some great coffee from Ruby Coffee Roasters and taste some beer at Central Waters Brewing and O’so Brewing. And of course, Hubby and I took advantage of free babysitters and went on a hot date. Now they’re gone and it’s back to the same old routine. So hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll get creative and make some new food and take some pictures. Today I bring you something I made just before my guests arrived: Caramelized Onion and Sauteed Mushroom Quiche. I have to admit that prior to about 6 months ago I had never tried quiche … Read more…

Roasted Cauliflower with Middle Eastern Spices

Roasted Cauliflower with Middle Eastern Spices

So cauliflower…It’s been in the news (or at least my Twitter feed) a lot lately. It’s gotten a lot of attention not for it’s health benefits, or how versatile and delicious it is, but how EXPENSIVE it’s been. Both in Canada, where many grocery costs have been rising, and in the US too. Not long before Christmas I refused to buy it at around $5 a head. However, it seems like the high cost cauliflower crisis is over now, as I recently bought a couple of heads for under $1.50 each. And thank goodness too…we were starting to go through cauliflower withdrawal around here. We eat a lot of it, both raw and cooked, not in pizza crusts or “fried rice“. My favorite way to eat it, is by far, this Roasted Cauliflower with Middle Eastern Spices. I got the idea for this dish after dining at a popular Lebanese restaurant in Vancouver – Nuba. Dining with my cousin who had been there many times, she insisted that we try the restaurant’s signature dish – Najib’s Special: “Crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt, served with tahini”. Really? Their signature dish is cauliflower?? Okay… But it’s a good thing we got … Read more…

Salmon Noodle Casserole

Salmon Noodle Casserole

So I’m sure lots of you remember certain dishes your parents used to make on a regular basis when you were growing up. Maybe you loved them, maybe you hated them, but you remember them. My mom had a few “regulars” on her cooking rotation. Most of them I have fairly fond memories of. But here’s a question: how many of you actually cook dishes from your childhood? Maybe your mom passed those recipes down so that you could feed them to your kids too. My mom did give me some of those old recipes – some as photocopies from actual cookbooks, or in the case of this Salmon Noodle Casserole, a scribbled down version of what was ingrained into her memory after making it for so many years. Now, I’m sure many of you won’t be surprised to find out that this didn’t start out as Salmon Noodle Casserole at all, but the ever popular Tuna Noodle Casserole.  Like many of the other retro recipes I grew up with, I adjusted this one to make it more modern and a little healthier. It didn’t take much – all I did was swapped the regular white egg noodles for whole wheat and replaced the … Read more…

Anchovy Butter Popcorn with Chili Flakes

Anchovy Butter Popcorn with chili flakes

So…I put anchovies in popcorn. Before you give up on me, hear me out. This Anchovy Butter Popcorn with Chili Flakes is really good!  It’s pretty much my new go to movie snack.  I’m not even totally sure where the idea came from (sometimes these crazy ideas just come to me!), but one evening when Hubby and I were preparing snacks for a movie night, I decided to add anchovies to my popcorn. I’m sure it was partly inspired by Vicky at Things I Made Today. In the summer, she posted a recipe for Radish and Anchovy Butter Toast, which pretty much turned me into an anchovy butter addict (the radishes I could take or leave, but that butter!). I guess when I was making my popcorn that night, I must have thought “if it’s good on bread, it must be really good on popcorn”. Yes, yes it is. Plus a few chili flakes to add just a touch of kick. Yum! Okay…if you hate anchovies, you might not like anchovy butter popcorn. But as long as you don’t go too heavy on the anchovies (lean more towards 3 fillets instead of 6, like I do), they don’t taste too fishy. They just melt … Read more…

Quick and Easy, Healthier Butter Chicken

Quick and Easy, Healthier Butter Chicken

Hiii!!! I’m finally back with a recipe. It’s been a long time. The holidays got in the way, and to be quite honest, sleep has taken priority over almost everything else lately. Having a 9 month old baby that seems to hate sleep means that I’m napping during the day and going to bed early, which leaves very little time for blogging. So hopefully this delicious recipes for Quick and Easy, Healthier Butter Chicken makes up for my absence lately. On another note, I’ve had a huge number of new subscribers to the blog, as well as new followers on Facebook and Pinterest lately. So I just want to say HI! and welcome and thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy cooking and writing! In my mind, Butter Chicken is to Indian food what chicken teriyaki is to Japanese food. Or pad thai to Thai food. These are the dishes that are familiar to many people in North America when they think of these various ethnic cuisines. And most people like them – they’re not too spicy or unusual, and they taste good. Unfortunately, traditional butter chicken is often laden with saturated fat, from large amounts … Read more…

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Lately, it seems more and more people I know are going “chemical-free” in their skincare and household products. The term “chemical-free” doesn’t mean much to me, since technically, everything is made up of chemicals. However, I too, am embracing more “natural” skin and cleaning products and even opting to make many myself. I’ve been making the switch not necessarily because I find the store-bought, conventional products overtly harmful (although maybe they are, who knows), but because I find that some of them irritate my skin and I find the powerful scents added to them to be way too strong. One such product that I’ve switched from store bought to homemade is Foaming Hand Soap. Store bought foaming hand soap is one product in particular that I found drying on my skin, even the so-called “natural” products. However, I prefer the foaming soaps because they don’t drip and make a mess of my sink and vanity area like other liquid soaps. When I explored making my own, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it looked. And then I was pleasantly surprised again when I actually tried making it and found that it worked like a charm.  The ingredient list for foaming … Read more…

2015 Year in Review

Top Recipes of 2015

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. It was a big year for me and my family. A big road trip, a new baby and all the firsts that come with that, a trip home to Canada and lots of fun activities here in Wisconsin. It’s been a big year for Domestic Dreamboat too. The blog continues to grow and evolve, and I’m excited to continue seeing changes to come. Here’s a review of what’s been going on at Domestic Dreamboat in 2015: In 2015 I posted 62 times. That’s an average of one blog post roughly every 6 days. Not too bad with everything else that’s been going on. Domestic Dreamboat was viewed 3 times more (total and per day) in 2015 than in 2014. I’m so excited to see my blog continue this growth! My readers live all over the world, but mostly in the US and Canada. My most popular posts spanned several different types of foods. Some were carryovers from 2014, and some are new from this year. Here are my top ten recipes of 2015: 10. Spaghetti Puttanesca   9. Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (AKA Snack and a Half … Read more…

Merry Christmas from Domestic Dreamboat!

Merry Christmas 2015

Well, it seems like it’s time for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas again. And since I haven’t pulled it together enough to give you a Merry Christmas recipe, I will tell you what I’m making (and gifting) this year. Surprisingly (or not, since this is where I post all of my favorite recipes), many of the things I am making for the holidays are recipes I’ve already posted on this blog.   Christmas Eve Usually my family does a big Ukrainian meal on Christmas Eve. We’re talking perogies, sour cabbage rolls, cornmeal, nalysnyky (crepes stuffed with cottage cheese and dill), piroshki (buns stuffed with cottage cheese and served with dill sauce), etc. In the past, I have cooked a pared down version of this. However, this year my father-in-law and sister-in-law aren’t arriving until around 7pm on Christmas Eve, so we are having a meal of appetizers. Peanut will be thrilled to be having a sanctioned meal of “snacks”. On the menu will be:   Cranberry Hazelnut Crackers with a variety of cheeses Homemade Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers  Bacon Wrapped Scallops Shrimp cocktail Hummus and a raw veggie platter Wisconsin summer sausage, pickles and olives Christmas Dinner I’m not … Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Barbecue Spices

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Barbecue Spices

We all know that we should limit our sodium intake. The recommended maximum intake of 2300mg/day doesn’t go very far. But how often do you cook without salt? I will have to admit that I don’t very often – unless you count my morning cereal. I definitely add it to most things that come out of my kitchen, including breads, baked goods, soups, meats and most veggies. I don’t add a lot, and I don’t add extra salt at the table, but I find most foods bland without at least a little salt. Except for these Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Barbecue Spices. They are one of the few dishes I make that I don’t add a speck of salt to. And none of the spices I use to season them contains any salt. And they still taste great! I first started making these sweet potatoes about 3 years ago when Peanut was first starting to eat solids. I gave her a few little pieces, not sure how she’d take them because they’re a little on the spicy side. I couldn’t believe how fast she shoveled them in! Now she won’t touch them, but Baby J can’t get enough. I especially love … Read more…

Homemade Eatmore Bars

Homemade Eatmore Bars - takes only 6 ingredients and minutes to make!

  Yes, it’s that time of year – Christmas baking time!! AKA the time of the year that we pull out all of our recipes for our favorite sweet treats try to narrow down the list of what goes on the goody tray. AKA the time of year we spend a whole week’s food budget on sugar, butter, chocolate and nuts in one grocery trip. At least that’s usually me at this time of the year. This year I am paring it way down and only making a short list of my family’s very favorite treats. This year, Homemade Eatmore Bars made the list. I made these chewy, peanutty treats for the first time last year, and they were the only new treat I made that I repeated. And anything I try that gets made again must be really good, since my “to make” list always seems never ending. If you live in Canada, chances are you’ve had the chocolate bar (that’s candy bar to my South of the border readers) Eat-More. Hershey describes the Eat-More bar as having a “unique taste of chewy dark toffee, peanut and chocolate”. They are a taste of my childhood. My mom used to by them … Read more…

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza with Dates, Walnuts and Gorgonzola

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza with Dates, Walnuts and Gorgonzola

Here we go. Another pizza recipe. I love my pizza. And I especially love it when I make it at home, however I like it, with real ingredients. This time I made Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza with Dates, Walnuts and Gorgonzola. It was inspired by one of my former favorite pizzerias in Edmonton, Famoso. You may remember them from such posts as Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes. This time the inspiration comes from their Cavoletti pizza – a white pizza (no tomato sauce) that I first tried many years ago on their seasonal menu. I thought “this combination of toppings is so unusual that it just might be delicious.” I was right, and it must have been particularly popular, because now it is part of their regular menu. And I’ve been making it at home ever since. This pizza is great if you have leftover Brussels sprouts, as it is best if they’re roasted before putting them on the pizza. If you don’t happen to have any leftovers hanging around, you can quickly and easily make roasted Brussels sprouts while you’re waiting for your dough to rise. If you really want to skip this step, just peel … Read more…

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole with textjpg

Well, here we are. Already at the start of Thanksgiving week (Is that a thing? Probably not, I just made it up). I have to say that for the past couple of years, my family hasn’t really celebrated Thanksgiving – American or Canadian. Sure we enjoy the time off and even do some black Friday shopping, but it seems silly to make a huge meal for just us. But this year is different. We will be having a house guest! Hubby’s best childhood friend is coming for a visit. So even though it’s only one more person, I’ll at least make an effort this year and do a bit of delicious holiday cooking. Plus, I will take just about any opportunity I have to make my favorite holiday dish – Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet potato casserole is totally “my” dish. The first time I ever went to a holiday dinner with my husband’s family, I brought sweet potato casserole. And everyone loved it so much, that it has been the expectation ever since that I bring it every time. And I love it so much that I don’t even feel the need to experiment with other dishes. Not that there … Read more…

Thursday Things I Love – Alberta Trip Recap

Hockey game

Hellooo! I’m back! The family and I got back on Sunday night after a 3 week visit back home, to Alberta. Well, baby J and I had a 3 week visit. Peanut had a month-long visit as she drove out  a week earlier with Granny and Grandpa, and Hubby only had a one week visit, because he can’t take any more time off than that. And 3 weeks was long enough. It was exhausting! As the parents out there know, it’s always tiring travelling with little ones. It’s even harder when you’re trying to fit everyone in, often scheduled to do 2 or even 3 different things in a day – everyday! But alas, such is life when you live far away from friends and family. And it was definitely worth it because we loved visiting and had a great time! Here are some of the things I loved: Girls night out in Calgary: I got together with some old, great friends, Ty and Melissa who were both bridesmaids at my wedding. It was great to go out kid-free, almost like the old days (with less alcohol and an earlier night!). We shared some amazing sushi at Sushi Bar Zipang and … Read more…