The Best Goulash in the Entire World

Savoury | October 30, 2016 | By

We spent a bunch of the weekend in a car, on a [small] road trip.  Truth be told, I was kind of dreading it.  I toyed back and forth between asking for a portable dvd player, and thinking they should learn to look out the windows and imagine, but assuming they would really just drive each other, and Jordan and I, crazy.  A 5 year old, 3 1/2 year old, and an almost 2 year old.  We don’t ever really go very far, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Truth be told – it went pretty great!  They slept a bunch of the way there.  We stopped for food, and then they snacked a bit, and played/sang/danced/talked the rest of the way.  The way back was pretty similar.  Except for Briar “MOOOing” for about an hour.  Which was both hilarious and slightly unnerving.  She’s going to be a cow for Halloween tomorrow.  

I find that so many times I create the worst-case scenarios in my head as to how a trip anywhere is going to turn out.  Whether that’s the grocery store, or the park, or a road trip.  Sometimes I convince myself it’s not worth even going.  And I don’t.  Other times I go.  Every so often (wayyy more than I’d like) I’ll go, and the worst-case scenarios ensue.  But so many times, it’s my attitude going into the trip that is probably the cause of the disasters.  

Anyhow.  This weekend went great, and I’m really glad, because hopefully it’ll give me courage to try again.  Get out and travel a little bit with these crazy kids.  

It really was fun.  Sure, there was some normal-kid stuff that happened.  Attitudes that weren’t quite right, sleepy heads (which lead to slightly-cranky-heads), small quarrels.  But it was fine.  It was worth it.  A great fall weekend to put in the books.  Spent with some really wonderful people.  🙂

On to the food part!  

The BEST Goulash

The BEST Goulash

The BEST Goulash

May I present to you:

The BEST Goulash in the Entire World.

The best.  

There is just no argument.

If you were to ask me what my favourite comfort-type style food was growing up, I would have to say this.  

It’s equal parts yummy and amazing.  

My mom and my Nannie both made it amazing-ly, though slightly different.  And I’ve created a version that [I think] is awesome, and slightly different from theirs.  This is a great weeknight meal if you are short on time, or just want to throw something together fairly quickly.  A pan and a pot to dirty, serve with a salad, and voila!  So great.  

It’s a definite kid-friendly meal too!

For some reason, don’t ask me why, we grew up calling it “Chop Suey”.  My hubby was very quick to inform me that it was not, in fact, chop suey.  It was goulash.  I’ve come to agree with him, but I do slip up every once in awhile and resort back to chop suey.  

The BEST Goulash The BEST Goulash

The BEST Goulash

This makes a good sized batch – so it’s enough to feed a large family, or provide you with leftovers for lunches through the week!

Let’s make it!

The BEST Goulash in the Entire World
Pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, you name it, it's in there.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 lbs hamburger
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, diced finely
  5. 1 pepper, chopped
  6. 2 cans tomato soup
  7. 1/4 cup ketchup
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste
  9. 1/3 cup sugar
  10. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  11. 1 cup shredded cheddar
  12. 2 cups macaroni
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Once it's hot, add in the onion and garlic. Fry for about 2 minutes. Add the peppers. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add hamburger. Cook until no longer red.
  2. While the hamburger is cooking, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Once it reaches a boil, add in your pasta. Cook until al dente.
  3. Once the hamburger is cooked through, add tomato soup, ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Cook until warm.
  4. Drain pasta and add to saucepan. Stir in cheddar.
  5. As soon as it's heated through, it's ready to eat! So yummy!
Notes
  1. Tweak the flavours by adding more or less sugar, ketchup, and/or red pepper flakes.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 Cael approved!

The BEST Goulash + Cael

If you’re looking for another comfort-food recipe, check out this Curry Chickpea Stew!

Linked up on Honest Mum, Buns in My Oven, Dear Creatives, Lil Luna, Nap-Time Creations

Curry Chickpea Stew

Savoury | October 10, 2016 | By

There is something in the fall air that makes me crave soup.  Soup and fresh carbs of some sort.  Homemade bread, biscuits, corn bread.  Okay.  Maybe I just want soup because it makes me feel okay about eating a slab of bread.

Really though, I do love soup.  

Curry Chickpea Stew

Curry Chickpea Stew

And Briar does too!  She shovels it in like there’s no tomorrow.  Even if Mommy may have made it a touch too spicy for the kids.  If there are chickpeas involved – even better.  She digs those out first, and then finishes the rest of the soup off.  Funny kid, eh?  I feel like most kids would leave those for last, and then mush them up and try to make them look like they aren’t there.  (Sounds like something I might have done….)

I whipped this up in the spring with every intention to make it again.  It took me awhile, but once fall rolls around, I’m ready for those cozy stews and soups again.  It’s so easy and so yummy! And you don’t have to remember to thaw protein!  (Which I am absolutely the worst at remembering!  Much to my mother’s dismay.  She always remembers.  I have much to live up to. 😉  )

That to say, this is a vegetarian stew.  Which I love, every once in awhile.  

I only make somethings sans meat about once every two weeks.  Because my hubby seems to think he might die if there is no meat in a meal.  So extreme. 

In his brain a meal = meat.  If there is no meat, it’s just a snack.  Or something like that.

Curry Chickpea StewCurry Chickpea StewCurry Chickpea Stew To the stew!  Curry and chickpeas.  These have GOT to be two of my favourite savoury flavours and foods (though I have many favourites).  They are so yummy!  So why not put them together?  

Did I say it’s easy?  Because it totally is.  You literally have to chop a handful of things, and then just throw the rest in, and cook for awhile.  Result = amazing.

It’s even more amazing the day after.  Somehow.  You know how chilis, soups, and stews just grow in flavour overnight?  It’s pretty awesome.

This would be great to make after all the turkey that has been eaten this weekend.  I know you’re sick of slaving in the kitchen.  Heck, you might even be able to get your hubbies to make it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Curry Chickpea Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curry Chickpea Stew

Curry Chickpea Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wasn’t kidding about eating it with a hunk of some sort of carb either.  It’s a necessity.  Preferably a fresh, warm carb, slathered in butter.  Melty, drippy butter.  Soaking into a warm, yummy bread.  Gahh!  My stomach is currently demanding I get up and make bread.  (It’s 9pm – there’s no possible way I’m doing that.)  

Curry Chickpea Stew
Delicious curry mixed into a tomato based, chickpea + veggie laden stew. So much yum.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  3. 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  6. 1 sweet pepper, diced
  7. 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  8. 1 can diced tomatoes
  9. 2 cans chickpeas
  10. 2 cups pasta (your choice - I've used egg noodles, and fusilli)
  11. 3-4 big handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
  12. 2 -3 Tbsp curry
  13. 1 tsp chili powder
  14. 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  15. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, sweet potato and onion. Sautee for 8-10 minutes, and then add the garlic and peppers. Once the garlic starts to brown a bit and your house smells amazing, throw in the spices, and cook for about 2 more minutes. Get those flavours rolling.
  2. Pour in stock, diced tomatoes, and chickpeas. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  3. About 10 minutes before serving, add in your pasta and cook until it's al dente. Stir in the spinach until wilted, and serve!
Notes
  1. Adjust the spices (curry and cayenne) to your liking! Make it spicier, or turn the heat down.
  2. This also freezes great! And it makes enough that you may be able to eat a meal and then freeze a meal (depending on how ravenous you may be).
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
I really hope you enjoy! 

Linked up on Buns in My Oven, Honest Mum, Nap-time Creations, Dear Creatives, Lamberts Lately

Curry Chickpea Stew

Curry Chickpea Stew

Chickpea Salad (aka: Best Kind Of Salad. Ever.)

Salad | July 16, 2016 | By

So, still trying to get this site up and running a bit better (especially on a smartphone…).  But while we’re waiting for that, why don’t we chow down on a nice summery salad?  This is a favourite in my books.  Briar is a HUGE fan.  She loves ALL the chickpeas.  The veg, dijon,lemon juice, and vinegar, with spices make for a really great summer-tasting combination.  Do you guys find it hard to come up with sides in the summer?  Something that doesn’t have to be put in the oven, or on the stove?  (Because, hello!  It’s wayy too hot for that most days!)  Something that isn’t a green, leafy salad?  (Because that’s a go-to, and my family does NOT want another one until next week.)  Ta-Da!  This is your answer.  And mine.  

Chickpea Salad

I found this recipe a few years ago, and I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice.  Did I mention in my ‘About Me’ page that I can’t seem to follow a recipe? I’m super guilty of that.  This is based loosely off of the Kitchen Confidante’s recipe, with many changes.  It’s super versatile though.  Whatever you have in the fridge!   Or whatever your taste-buds desire.  Switch it up!

Chickpea Salad

If you happen to make this recipe, tag me!  #whisksandwoodenspoons  I’d love to see what you’re doing.  Also, I’d love comments as to what you’d like to see in posts, if you have any problems navigating the site, etc.

Chickpea Salad

Enjoy this summertime salad!  (I’m singing Summertime Sadness in my head typing that last line…  Oh, my brain.)

Also, the next post will include kid pics!  I promise!  😉

**Recipe linked up on Christian Blogger Community.

Chickpea Salad
Best kind of summer side. Lemony, cold, refreshing. And yummy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 19-oz can of chickpeas
  2. 1 diced English cucumber
  3. 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using canned drain the juice off a bit)
  4. 1/2 red or green pepper, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup finely diced onion (red, green, yellow - whatever you have on hand)
  6. 2 tablespoons parsley
  7. 2 tablespoons minced basil
  8. 2 tablespoons minced mint (optional)
  9. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I normally use bottled juice, but fresh would be lovely)
  12. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  13. 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  14. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  15. 1/2-1 teaspoon chili flakes
  16. black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add to a medium bowl, along with all other ingredients. Stir together well.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Mix it up before serving, to get those flavours well distributed.
Notes
  1. Notes: I don't always add tomatoes, because we aren't all huge fans, and it's great without them. So whatever you fancy! In the original recipe, she uses a jalapeno instead of chili flakes, but I never have them on hand. Either would be great, I'm sure. Enjoy!
Adapted from Kitchen Confidante
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

Veggie Egg Casserole

Savoury | September 30, 2012 | By

Can I just say that I really wish I had time and money to dress up, cook fancy meals, bake fancy desserts, decorate, and just entertain all the time?  Because I really wish it were possible.  Looking at some of the wonderful bakers on some blogs, and on television…  *sigh.

But my life consists more of being tired, broke, diapers, baby talk, and dealing with the public.  Not quite as glamourous.  But I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Mind, I will continue dreaming of being able to do those things mentioned first.  But I will enjoy what I’m doing now.  It’s special.  Being a wife, mom, daughter (in-law), sister (in-law), friend, and employee.  I enjoy all the roles [most of the time].  And when I don’t, I really know that I should.

Okay, now that I have that confession out there…  Let’s get cooking.

Oh, but first, a Cael interlude…  He’s just too cute to pass up, ain’t?

{All smiles… and maybe *slightly stunned…  *See next photo…}

{Great hair, eh?}

I made this dish a few weeks ago, because I was craving another dish.  You see, my mom makes this great corn egg casserole dish.  Normally for holidays.  And it’s awesome.  But I had no recipe.  I had an idea of what to use, but I wanted to add some green veggies to it, just to sneak them into the meal.  Just a warning though, we ate it before I remembered to get a picture of it cooked.  So…  that’s why the only pictures are before it was baked.

Veg Egg Casserole

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9×9 pan.

Throw the corn and broccoli in the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.

Pour over veggies.

Bake until middle is set (about 15-20 minutes).

Now, this is a bit different type meal…  But don’t  you dare hate on it, until you try it.  It’s pretty darn good.  Cael loved it, and hubby had seconds!

30 Day Challenge

Day 9 – How you hope your future will be.

Another hard question.

Joyful.  I hope that I will be joyful, if not always happy.

I hope that there are a few more kiddies running around, and that I learn to have more patience.

More on the material side…  I’d love to see a new house in the future, with a huge, amazing kitchen.

These are just a select few that happened to come to mind right off the cuff.  Of course there are many more thing I’d love to see in my future…  but here is a glance inside my brain.

Have a great day!  Talk soon!

 

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Savoury | September 24, 2012 | By

Before I get started, I just want to do a shout out to a fellow blogger.  I love looking at other blogs for ideas, and inspiration, not to mention wonderful recipes.  And I’ve been following Madison for at least 6 months, and I love what she posts.  It’s a mixture of fashion, food, great products, and life.  She’s really down to earth.  She does ‘No Fat Talk’ posts that focus on not talking trash about our bodies (because, ladies, I know it’s really hard not to).  Just check her out.  She’s at Espresso and Cream.

Okay, now that we’re done that, onto other things.

{I caught Cael trying on Daddy’s shoes the other day – so cute.  Sorry it’s slightly blurry…  He just wouldn’t stand still!}

So, as I’ve said many a time, life is crazy busy.  It doesn’t seem to ever slow down.  And I am just barely keeping up.  (What am I going to do after baby #2 comes?!)  I’ve had multiple great post ideas floating around my head for the past few weeks, and no time to get them written up & posted.

Between working part-time, trying to keep up with Cael (who’s full speed ahead, and down to one nap a day), keeping the house together and clean, cooking/baking, trying to find time to help out with church programs, and still have time for friends and family…  I’m clean outta time.  At the moment though, house doesn’t look too shabby, laundry’s folded (not put away though, mind you), and I have myself a cup of lemon tea.  So I’m writing this.  And it feels good.  To be typing, sharing food and just having some sitting down time.

I’ve been reading a book by Lee Strobel called, ‘The Case for the Real Jesus‘.  And it’s really great.  I think it was written with teens in mind, but it’s a great book for teens and adults, and it’s written in a way for really easy understanding, I’d definitely recommend picking it up to read sometime.

Also, we do a ‘Young Adults’ (which is really whatever age…) group once a week.  We’ve just started up for the year, and we’ve decided to commit to memorizing scripture verses every week.  I think it’s  really great idea.  This week, I’m going to memorize Psalm 27:4 – “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”  I find that I don’t linger enough on the thought of heaven, and being close to God, and that I should do so more often.  So hopefully, this verse will stick in my mind and help me to remember to think on such things.

Now to some foooood.  Awhile ago (April, to be exact), I wrote a post about quiche.  Well, I’m onto the quiche again.  This time, I made a few changes in vegetables, but that’s it.  I just had to share it with you, because it looked so pretty.

The colours are just…  vibrant, and I thought they looked great.  So here goes.

Quiche (Version #2)

(Makes 2 9-inch quiche)

Pie crust for 2 pies

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

8 eggs

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 cups milk

1 Tbsp flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp parsley

Pinch chili powder

1 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line 2 9-inch pie plates with pie dough.  Sprinkle celery, onion, peppers and cheese over pie crust.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milks, flour, salt, pepper, parsley, chili powder and melted butter.  Whisk.  Pour over vegetables and cheese in pie plate.  Bake quiche for 30-45 minutes (it really just depends on the oven), or until set.

Now, I figure it’s time to get on with the 30 Day Challenge.  So here goes.

Day 8 – A moment you felt most satisfied with your life

This is a tough one.  I’m really not sure what to write.

Hmm…  I felt really satisfied on my wedding day.  I had  finally married him, the guy I’d been dreaming of getting married to since elementary school (honestly).  Standing beside him, kissing him and just, being joined together with him, with all of our family and friends to see.

It was breathtaking (though, that might have been the cold air too… )

…  Just kidding!

It was great.  I do feel pretty satisfied most days though.  When I look and see all the blessings I have.  A great hubby, the cutest, funniest little boy, and another baby on the way.  Not to mention the family, friends, and material blessings…  they abound.  It’s great.  So why do I complain?  I just forget to think about all these things.  So many great things.

What about you?  When have you felt most satisfied with your life?  I’d love to hear yours…

Vegetarian Quiche

Savoury | April 23, 2012 | By

I love eggs.  And this post…  is about eggs.

Earlier this week, I had to make a meal for one of my friends that just became a new mom for the third time.  What to make, what to make?  This thought crossed my mind all day the day before.  What I decided…

I made quiche!

I used eggs from my father-in-laws chickens (which I really should have taken a picture of, because they are amazingly big, super healthy, and natural…  so good), so that made these quiches EXTRA good.

Quiche a la Bebe Marc

(Makes 2 9-inch quiches)

Pie crust for 2 pies

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1 onion

1 green pepper

8 eggs

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp parsley

Pinch chili powder

1 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line 2 9-inch pie plates with pie dough.  Sprinkle celery, onion, peppers and cheese over pie crust.

 

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milks, flour, salt, pepper, parsley, chili powder and melted butter.

Whisk until combined.

Pour over vegetables and cheese in pie plate.

Bake quiches for 30-45 minutes (it really just depends on the oven), or until set.

I was super impressed with myself on this recipe.  I wanted a vegetarian dish, but I didn’t want it to be lacking in flavour – and it wasn’t!  It looked good, smelled good, and tasted great.

It must have been good, because my hubby ate over half of it!

*Note – you can substitute the coconut milk for regular milk or water.

Now to the 30 Day Challenge.

Day 1 – Your current relationship

Well, my current relationship has been my one and only, and will be my one and only. God willing.  I have been married to my amazing hubby for almost 2 years now.

We got married in June 2010

And while that isn’t very long, we’ve known each other our whole lives, and have been ‘together’ for 7 years now.  He is the love of my life.  Yes, we snap at each other, and get on each others’ nerves.  But more than that, we love each other, laugh together, cry together, talk, live….  And have an amazing little boy together.

We’ve been through a lot, and will go through a lot more.  I know, though, that no matte what happens, we will stick it out.  God is behind us, and will give us the strength we need to stay together and get through life together.

I love my hubby so much.  He’s quirky, a great guy, funny, and so good at so many things.

I could say so much more than that, but this my relationship in a nutshell.

Now you know.

Day one of the 30 Day Challenge.  Check.

What about you?  How’s your current relationship?  Do you enjoy eggs as much as me?

Potato Cakes

Savoury | April 8, 2012 | By

Okay, so I told you I’d be awhile posting… I didn’t think I’d be quite this long.  This week has just been insane.  We’ve been at the house working, painting, putting boxes upon boxes upon boxes of stuff away, plus it was my brother’s birthday, Easter this weekend, with all the ordinary-every-week happenings as well.  So needless to say, I’m pooped.  And my brain may perhaps be is slightly (or maybe more than slightly) fried.  The house is coming together though!  We’re moving in this week, which is really good.

Anyhow.  I made these awhile ago, and I wanted to share them with you guys.  Mostly because we made them at a bible camp this summer, and the majority of the attendants had never had them before.  I was shocked!  These are amazing, easy, and a staple in my diet… 😉  Not really, but I need them at least once every two months or so.  They are just SO good.

I know, I know.  I must have turned over a leaf or something.  No baked goods today!

This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

Potato Cakes

Leftover mashed potatoes

Summer Savory

Salt

Pepper

Egg

The quantities really depend on how much leftover potatoes you have, and personal preference.  This last batch I made, we probably had about 6 cups of leftover potatoes (I KNOW, that’s a LOT, but my brother really likes potatoes, and there are 8 of us in the house, so we make a huge amount of everything).  Anyways, so 6 cups of mashed potatoes, and I put in about 2 heaping tablespoons of summer savory, a dash of salt and pepper, and one egg.

Just mush all the ingredients together.

Shape into patties.

And fry until browned.

Easy as pie!  (Or cakes…?  Potato cakes, that is!)

Please enjoy these, they are soo good.  Growing up (and still many times), we’ll have these with fish sticks and canned beans in molasses.  (One of the few times we use canned beans, as we normally bake our own beans…)  Such a good combo though.  Man.  Yum.

*Oh…  I eat them with ketchup…  is that bad?  It tastes just sooo good.  Or dip them in your beans!  Do it.  Don’t beat it till you try it!  Just thought I’d warn you…  I might be kind of weird when it comes to food combinations.*

So again, I’ll be back to you soon hopefully.  I have a few posts all lined up, I just need time to put them together!  But I’m really hoping that will happen soon!  I miss doing this when there’s such a long break!  I’ll share our Easter adventures with you soon!

How was your Easter?