Oatmeal raspberry muffins

Oatmeal raspberry muffins
I made these muffins the other morning for the family and they were a huge hit. Not only were they moist and satisfying right out of the oven, but they stayed soft the next day too.


1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice)
zest of one lemon (optional)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries or raspberries are great here- cranberries would work too, but up the sugar to 1 1/2 cups)
White sugar for sprinkling on top

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375
Line muffin tin with non stick liners, or grease muffin tin
Mix milk and vinegar if you are not using buttermilk
Add egg, vanilla and oil
In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and soda
Mix in frozen berries
Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix with as few strokes as possible until just blended
Spoon into prepared muffin tin, filling 3/4 of the way
Sprinkle with sugar
Bask 20-25 minutes until just set

Cool and enjoy :)
Fresh berry muffins

Two week Coronavirus quarantine meal plan and shopping list

About ten days ago, the Canadian Health minister advised people to stock up so that they would have enough food for two weeks of quarantine. The Covid19 virus, also known as Coronavirus, has thrown people into a full blown stockpiling frenzy, with shelves emptying across the globe. With some planning though, and a few trips to the store, you can calmly put food aside to last you two weeks of quarantine without going crazy. Aside from stocking up on a little bit of toilet paper (seriously people, why do you need 100 rolls of toilet paper!), tissue, soap, detergent, alcohol and aloe gel to make my own hand sanitizer (2/3 90% isopropyl alcohol to 1/3 aloe vera gel), medications and advil, I also stocked up on staples and frozen goods that would ensure we would all eat delicious and nutritious food should we be asked to put ourselves in isolation.
I am starting to see see advice online on how to stock your pantry to make sure you have good nutritious food should you be asked to self isolate for a period of two weeks, or what famous chefs would make if they are in quarantine. But really, that’s not that useful.
I thought I would go one step further and share with you the two week quarantine meal plan and shopping list that I came up with to make sure that while we may not be allowed to leave the house, we will still eat well! I am French after all, and if you’re going to feed yourself, it may as well be delicious. I should mention that we are a family of four with a 15 year old boy that is always hungry, and an 11 year old girl that is very fussy and hates all dairy (which is why frozen pizzas are not on the menu!) except chocolate milk, and also won’t touch eggs. Argh.
I have not included recipes here, just brief descriptions of assembly methods. Please post comments if you would like me to develop these further into recipes, or make these into a downloadable Coronavirus Two Week Quanrantine Cookbook.
Let me start off with my two week isolation shopping list that covers everything I need in case we are put into quarantine. A lot of this was purchased at Costco. I’ve divided it into pantry staples and freezer goods. A chest freezer is a must I think if you’re going to put enough food aside:

Pantry staples:

Instant oatmeal packages
Coffee and coffee filter
Applesauce (I bought six)
Long life chocolate milk
Canned tomatoes (6-8 cans)
Tomato sauce (2-4 jars)
Low sodium chicken broth (12)
Olive oil
Chick peas (6 cans)
Black beans
Mixed beans
Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
Chopped garlic
Chopped ginger
Coconut milk (3 cans)
Red lentils
Dried peas
Taco kit
Skim milk powder
Dried mushrooms
Long life milk (12 1 litre boxes)
Freeze dried parsley
Boxed mashed potatoes
lemon juice
BBQ sauce
Brownie mix

Frozen foods

Ready made wonton soups (they had these are Costco and they looked delicious)
Frozen croissants (12) (did I mention I was french?!)
Ground beef (4 packages)
Lamb chops (8)
Honey baked ham on the bone
Chicken breasts(8)
Frozen spinach
Frozen peas
Frozen edamame
Frozen pork dumplings (1 pack)
Frozen apples
Frozen pineapple
Frozen broccoli
Frozen french fries
Tater tots
Frozen corn
Frozen chopped onion
Frozen green beans
2 dozen Bagels
Ready to bake baguettes (6)
Orange juice concentrate
Frozen strawberries
Sausages (8)
Chicken thighs (2 packs of 8)
Chicken breast on the bone (4)
Pancetta (3 packs)
Stewing beef (1 pack)
Whole chicken (1)
Pork shoulder (also called picnic roast) (2)
Sliced turkey breast (lunch meats)
Frozen chicken soulaki (already cooked, from Costco)
Tzaziki (you can freeze this)
Cheddar (you can freeze cheese if you are going to grate it later)
Flour tortillas
Pita breads
Butter (you can freeze it)
I am considering chopping some red peppers into strips and freezing them to use in soup etc)
Burger buns
frozen pie shells (4)
frozen puff pastry
I also chopped up some bananas and threw them in the freezer for smoothies
I put some fresh thyme in the freezer too as it’s my fave
I chopped some carrots and put them into bags in the freezer for soups
Shredded parmesan (or buy the shelf one)
Ice cream
Bacon if you can’t live without it!

I also have an ongoing supply in my house of basics like salt and pepper, vegetable oil, mustard, spices, onions, bread crumbs etc. I also usually have enough jam, honey, maple syrup, pancake mix etc that I didn’t feel I needed to go out and stock up on these things.

With all of these things on hand, here are 14 lunches and 14 dinners I came up with. I definitely have enough to make more of than just this, or share meals with elderly neighbors should the need arise to help my community out. I did realize that fresh food (we have salad with every meal) would be difficult and we would really miss crunchy food. Am considering grabbing some pickles, and maybe those lettuces that have the roots attached, although I’m not sure I have room in my fridge to have a bunch of lettuce growing in the back of it. I am also making sure I have 12 eggs in the fridge at all times.

My plan for breakfasts:

Home made muffins (made with frozen fruit, and early on while I still have eggs)
Smoothies (spinach in these!)

14 Lunches:

1. Wonton soup (just heat and serve. I made sure these didn’t have MSG as that gives me a headache)
2. Three bean salad (can of beans, can of tuna, can of corn if you like it, chopped shallot if you have it, tsp of mustard, 2 tblsp vinegar, 3 tblsp oil, salt and pepper, dried parsley)
3. 4. Turkey/blt sandwiches (2x)
5. Chicken souvlaki (frozen chicken sticks, pita breads, tzatziki, pickles)
6. Tomato soup (home made or canned)
7. Ham/split pea soup (after having eaten honey baked ham, boil bone with dried (soaked) peas)
8. Corn chowder (corn, onion, red peppers, spices, and broth)
9. Cream of broccoli soup (onion, broccoli, spices, broth, skim milk powder after it’s cooked and shredded cheese on top)
10. Hamburgers and fries
11. Falafels (I would likely make some hummus at some point with chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and oil)
12. Curried red lentil soup with coconut milk
13. Quiche (pancetta/bacon, egg, milk and cheese)
14. Pea soup (sort of like broccoli soup) with pancetta and croutons (make croutons out of stale baguette from lunch, brushed with olive oil and salt and baked in the oven or pan fried)
15. Fried dumplings and edamame (make sauce with soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and hot sauce)

14+ dinners:

1. Chicken pot pie (I make a delicious one with chicken thighs sauteed with pancetta, onions, thyme, mushrooms, (re-hyrdate dried mushrooms in warmed up white wine), then thicken it with broth and flour, and top with puff pastry
2. Chili
3. Chicken fajitas (recognizing that the peppers would likely be soggy, and we would re-use thawed tzatziki instead of sour cream)
4. Spaghetti bolognese
5. Beef stew (with red wine, tomato sauce, broth, carrots onions and mushrooms) with mashed potatoes
6. Chicken and broccoli stir fry with rice
7. Pulled pork on baguette with mustard and fried onions
8. Roast chicken with thyme and garlic and tater tots, served with stewed tomatoes (remove juice from whole canned tomatoes, lay whole tomatoes in oven pan, top with breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and Parmesan, cook 20 minutes, then broil)
9. Grilled sausages with fried gnocchi and green beans
10. Tacos (again, no sour cream here, but hey, we are on lock down, so will make do with tzatziki and salsa!)
11. Grilled lamb chops with green beans and tomatoes and rice (make a tomato sauce with lots of olive oil and garlic, then add green beans and cook until beans are done)
12. Pork shoulder with white wine and mushrooms (insta pot pork shoulder with onions, mushrooms, thyme and white wine) with mashed potatoes
13. Baked chicken breasts (on the bone) with garlic and thyme with french fries and broccoli
14. Pasta with sun dried tomatoes, sausage and garlic
15. Coconut curry (thai curry paste, chicken thighs, broth and coconut milk) and rice
16. Mushroom risotto (I usually have arborio rice, and this works so well with dried mushrooms)
17. Butter chicken (spices, chicken, canned tomatoes in insta -pot, then finish off with coconut milk)
18. Honey baked ham, mashed potatoes and peas

I also thought about our sweet tooth, so had the following ideas for


Apple/fruit crumbles
Fruit pie
Brownies (I bought mix, the kind where you just add water, no eggs)
Apple sauce
Ice cream

I would love to hear your comments or feedback. I am not a dietitian, but someone that knows how to cook, a pretty good planner, and a mom. I have tried to make sure all meals provide protein, grains and fruits and vegetables. As the season moves one, it may be a good idea to plant some lettuce in the yard. I really think that’s the thing I would miss most should we be put into a two week quarantine. But I’m not worried. I’ve planned, and if we get sick, we get sick. We will do out part to make sure we don’t infect the community by staying home and eating well!


Refrigerator pickled vegetables

I recently learned how to make quick refrigerator pickles from my greek friend Peggy. Now I’m obsessed! They’re so super quick and easy, deliciously crunchy and spicy. Try pickled onions on burgers, in salads, gourmet sandwiches, next to grilled meats… Or how about pickled beans in a spicy bloody mary (or Ceasar for my Canadian friends!). And pickled jalapenos on fish tacos, picked cauliflower on a cheese and charcuterie platter – well, they just make everything better!
pickled veg

Ingredients for pickled onions, beans, asparagus or cauliflower

1-2 red onions, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar, or as needed to fill your jar (I prefer white vinegar for beans, asparagus and cauliflower)
1/2 tsp pickling spices (you can make your own with peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander seed, bay leaf, chili pepper- experiment with the tastes that you enjoy)

Ingredients for pickled jalapenos

2 cloves garlic, sliced or smashed
2 tsp coarse salt
1-3 tblsp sugar (higher quantity of sugar will lessen the heat of jalapenos)
3/4 – 1 cup white vinegar
2 thai chili peppers (if you like additional spice)
1/2 tsp pickling spices (see note above)

Preparation instructions

Prepare vegetables- for onion and jalapenos, slice into thin slices
For beans, trim into lengths that will fit into your jar
For cauliflower, trim into small florets
Wash prepared vegetables with hot water from the kettle, dry on a paper towel
Add all spices to the bottom of a clean 8oz jar
Add 1/4″ of the vinegar and stir until dissolved
Pack vegetables tightly into jar.
Pour remaining vinegar over top, push veggies down father, and top up, leaving a little at the top.
Screw top on and label. Keep refrigerated. These will be ready to eat in a day or two.
Eat within two months. Don’t leave these out on the counter for long periods of time- they are not sterilized, so treat them accordingly!
Tip: don’t use metal when preparing these- it doesn’t get along well with vinegar!
Tip: Change up the flavor by adding fresh thyme, dill, ginger, turmeric- whatever you like!

Super quick curried lentil soup with coconut milk

This is a recipe I make when I have no food in the house! I often just throw a bunch of vegetables together with some red lentils, spices and broth, and see what happens. But I think this version turned out especially delicious with it’s simplicity and cozy warmth. It’s a breeze to make vegan or vegetarian, although, being French, I tend to go for the dairy/bone broth version!
easy curried lentil soup


1 tsp olive oil (or other type of vegetable oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (I used the jarred kind I had in the fridge)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups red lentils
4 cups broth
1 small 5.5oz can of coconut milk
greek yogurt or sour cream or non dairy alternative for topping
chopped cilantro


Heat oil in medium saucepan
Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn
Add spice. Stir and cook an additional 3 minutes or so.
Add lentils and broth, stir, cover and cook 30 minutes or so until lentils are soft and mushy.
If it gets too dry, add a bit of water. Stir every 10 minutes or so to make sure lentils don’t stick
Add coconut milk.
Heat through.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce (always!)

Cheesy cheddar meatloaf

Ingredient list

2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
32 Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Beat eggs. Add milk and crackers . Stir in onion and cheese. Add ground beef. Mix well. Shape into a loaf.
3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
4. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard to make topping. Spoon half of the topping over the meatloaf after 30 min. of baking. Return loaf to over for 10 more min. of baking. Spoon the rest of the topping over meatloaf, return to oven and bake for 5-10 min more.

Creamy chorizo and tortellini soup

Ingredient list

1 lb. chorizo sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small shallot, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. all-purpose flour
5 c. chicken broth
14 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 tsp. kosher sea salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
6 ounces chopped fresh spinach
2 c. half & half (or heavy cream)

1. In a large pan set over medium-high, cook the sausage until browned. Drain as much grease from the pan as possible. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, add onion, shallot and carrot, sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning.

3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisk to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes.

4. Pat as much grease as possible off of the chorizo, then add it along with the tortellini, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, spinach, and half & half. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the tortellini is fully cooked.

5. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Heavenly Halibut

Ingredient list

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2 pounds skinless halibut fillets

1. Preheat the oven broiler. Grease a baking dish.

2. In a bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onions, salt, and hot pepper sauce.

3. Arrange the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish.

4. Broil halibut fillets 8 minutes in the prepared oven, or until easily flaked with a fork. Spread with the Parmesan cheese mixture, and continue broiling 2 minutes, or until topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Quick weeknight chicken parmesan

Ingredient list

3/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups Italian bread crumbs
Italian seasoning
2 pounds chicken cutlets
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 (26 oz.) jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
8-12 ounces shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a shallow dish, combine flour with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a bowl, beat together eggs and 2 Tbsp. water. Place bread crumbs in another shallow dish.

2. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip into egg mixture, letting excess drain. Dredge in bread crumbs, pressing on gently.

3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium/high heat. Add cutlets. Cook until golden, usually 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Continue cooking with oil and chicken until all chicken cutlets are done. Can add more coconut oil if needed.

4. Pour spaghetti sauce on top of cutlets generously. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top of the sauce for some extra flavor. Sprinkle cheeses generously on top. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes.

5. Can serve over pasta or on its own.

Moist and delicious cinnamon rolls

Ingredient list

4 1/2-5 c. all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
In a bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and enough half & half (1-2 T.) to make of drizzling consistency.

In a large mixer bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the yeast.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, the 1/3 cup butter, and the 1/3 cup sugar just until warm (120-130 degrees and butter is almost melted. Add to the flour mixture, add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then high for 3 minutes, scraping sides. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour (2 1/4-2 3/4 cups) as you can.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball; place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover, let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

For filling: combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the remaining 1/2 cup butter till crumbly; set aside.

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough to a 12-inch square.

Sprinkle filling over the dough square; roll up jelly-roll style, pinch edges to seal. Slice roll into eight pieces; arrange in a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.

Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap; let dough rise until nearly double, about 45 minutes.

Brush dough with half & half or light cream. Bake in a 375 oven for 25 minutes or until light brown. Frost with powdered sugar icing. Serve warm.

Braised Beef with BBQ sauce

Ingredient list

1 6-pound brisket

Rub into beef:
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoning salt, pepper, paprika

Marinate beef for 8 hours in:
2 cups oil
2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire
2 bay leaves

Place in covered container over indirect heat for 3 1/2-4 hours, basting with marinade every 30 minutes.

The last hour of cooking, coat both sides of brisket with barbeque sauce. Continue to cook until tender and baste only the top.

Barbecue Sauce:
4 cups catsup
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon pepper

Bring to boil. Remove bay leaf.

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