lice 2When I was in grade school, I had very long, thick hair. I would love to wear my hair in pig tails and then a pony tail and if the mood was right, I would even braid my hair. As I hit my teen years in the eighties I was not immune to the influences of pop culture (who could resist Wham?!?) and my hair went big and a lot of hairspray was used. All that to say, with the exception of a few years of short hair à la Princess Diana, I never had issues with my hair. Fast forward to being a mom of two kids. I noticed a change in hair culture when my kids started to go to day camp. My daughter came home from her first day and announced with a huge smile that she was lice-free! What? Stop everything and hold the phone.

  You can do this. There are so many recipes that look complicated but really are as easy as pie. Actually, pie is quite complicated. This is easy and delicious. This recipe also freezes super well and is an excellent addition to your fridge as leftovers...

There are one bowl recipes and then there's really cheating. This is a SUPER cheat recipe because it's ridiculously easy to make and amazingly delicious. Think of the possibilities for this dish: appetizer, cocktail party food, meatless Monday main course with some other sides, light lunch...the possibilities are endless. The mixture of these fresh ingredients will satisfy your tastebuds, your busy schedule and will feel good for your overall health. This recipe serves 4 as a main dish. There are also mini portobello mushrooms available in most grocery stores which would be great as cocktail treats.

You know how all kinds of sauces come ready made and in a bottle? Well I can say with sincere conviction that I will never (like, ever!) purchase a bottle of teriyaki sauce ever again. I found this recipe in a recent Food and Wine Magazine (July 2013) feature on their selection of mega talented chefs. Yes, Mr. Nobu Matsuhisa of famed Nobu Restaurant fits the bill. Speaking of bills... with our Canadian dollar dipping, it might be that much more of a stretch to travel and dine at a celebrity-chef restaurant.
With this recipe for Nobu's Chicken Teriyaki, the celebrity chef is you!
The sauce is super simple to make and it will be the best teriyaki chicken you will ever have (unless you go to Nobu Restaurant for dinner instead). Enjoy!

Ingredients for Salad

I love salads. I love that salads are no longer simply lettuce, tomato and shredded carrots with a choice of 3 dressings. Salads are now practically a meal group of their own. The best are the salads that are easy to make and delicious in taste. The following recipe is super kid-friendly for them to make and eat. My daughter practically made it herself and gave it her 2 thumbs up rating for taste. Also, I highly recommend this salad for any pot luck or Holiday gathering you might have where you’d like to bring something that everyone takes seconds but is not labor intensive and is really affordable to make. This recipe is from the Liquor Commission Board of Ontario (LCBO)'s most fabulous publication: Food & Drink, Summer 2009 edition. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Easy Pasta Dinner

This pasta dinner is an easy winner.
Is it the bacon? Probably - because really, all things are truly better with bacon. But if real bacon isn't your thing - this recipe is worth the try with either chicken or turkey bacon. Friends, it's time to really put away the BBQ for the season (there is a BBQ season and this isn't it!) and come back into the kitchen for the kind of meal that you can make in 15 minutes, slice a beautiful baguette, pour a rich red wine and share around a table with family or friends. This recipe has been adapted from Bon Apetit's September 2004 magazine.  Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie in 2 Easy Steps

I have 2 weaknesses when it comes to the kitchen. The first are recipes that are "one bowl" or "2 steps" - but worse than that are recipes that are from name brands. At first I was a skeptic -that was until I tried my first. Now, I'm always ready to try recipes from the brands that make them. It kind of makes sense that they would know best, right? I would recommend starting with Kraft. The selection of recipes and amount of information on their website is incredible. Each recipe has it all: photos, prep time, total servings and best of all, nutritional info per serving. Check it out at: www.kraftcrecipes.com

EGGPLANT MANICOTTI WITH RICOTTA, ASIAGO AND PARSLEY FILING: VEGETARIAN DELIGHT!     Eggplant. Really, what a terrible name you were saddled with. And what an identity crisis! To have an alter ego…the aubergine - which sounds exotic, foreign and sophisticated!! It’s a lot to contend with. The good...

BEST TIME SAVING IDEAS FOR THE KITCHEN Whenever I watch one of the cooking shows or worse – a variety show with a guest chef, they cook up a feast and have everything in cute, convenient, pre-measured little containers.  Doesn’t it all look so very easy? Not like at home where you might need a GPS to navigate the nether-reaches of your pantry. Whenever there’s a way to bring the tricks of the cooking trade into my kitchen, I’m all for it! One of the best resources I’ve found is “Cuisine at home” (www.CuisineAtHome.com). This is a no nonsense, so ads, just cooking magazine. Here are some of my favorite time saving ideas for the kitchen:

CRANBERRY CHICKEN BALLS

Ingredients for Cranberry Chicken Balls   I’m coming up on a pretty big anniversary. It’ll be 14 years that we’ve been together. When I got engaged my future mother-in-law asked me what I wanted as a gift and I knew immediately: a food processor! Initially she hesitated – bless her, she was afraid I’d cut myself on the steel knife. No worries there, I assured her.

WILD RICE WITH WILD MUSHROOM: THE SIDE DISH GONE WILD [caption id="attachment_1559" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ingredients Ingredients[/caption] I love Rice Krispies (keep reading this is about the rice side dish). Let me clarify: I love Rice Krispies-like recipes where you pop into the kitchen for 10 minutes and emerge with a dish that the people of your household and guests will ogle in amazement and drool with anticipation – and yet, you’ve done it all in 3 steps – Hazzah!

[caption id="attachment_1169" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Prize-winning chicken recipe Prize-winning chicken recipe[/caption] I’m such a sucker for the cookbooks and special issue cooking magazines that are “best 10 recipes..” or “1 pot dinners”. So you can understand that resistance was futile when I came across the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book “Prizewinning Recipes”. I always like to test drive a cookbook by starting with chicken dishes:

Soup can be a great starter for a meal or the meal itself. This minestrone soup recipe can do both – really! If you have never made soup before, fear not young soup Jedi! Soup making easy it is.

This soup is done in 3 steps (no gimmick!). The trick to good soup is to substitute to your own tastes. If kale makes you gag, then leave it out. If you want to sneak in a vegetable that your family is refusing to eat... soup is a great place to drop it in. This recipe has been adapted from the Liquor Commission Board of Ontario (LCBO)'s Food & Drink magazine (Autumn 2008).