Oatmeal cranberry mini chip cookies

Oatmeal cookies

Sometimes you want a simple cookie that will be the perfect snack alongside a cup of coffee or tea or even a glass of milk. These cookies fit the bill and are perfect to freeze to pack in lunches for the kids.

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened

1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all purpose wheat flour

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

3 cups (750 mL) large flake oats

3/4 cup (175 mL) dried cranberries

1/4 cup (60 mL) mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to butter mixture and stir until combined. Add oats, cranberries and chocolate chips; stir until well distributed.

Drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls and bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly on baking sheet; remove to cooling rack. Let cool completely. Store in sealed container to retain moistness.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Pulled Ontario beef

Pulled Ontario beef

Pulled beef on a bun makes the perfect pre-game snack. This recipe can be prepared up to two days in advance, may be served at room temperature and is easily transported. Serve with plain kettle chips.

Ingredients:

3 lb boneless Ontario Corn Fed beef blade roast

2 tbsp vegetable or soybean oil

1 chopped onion

1 Celery stalk, chopped

2 cubanelle peppers, chopped

1 tsp each coarse salt, pepper and oregano

1 tablespoon of fresh Ontario garlic chopped

1 can (19 oz) diced tomatoes

1 cup beef broth

Directions:

Rub beef with half of the oil. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides. Remove beef and set aside for later use.

Pour remaining oil into same pan. Add onion, celery and peppers and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, tomatoes and beef broth.

Add beef blade roast back into the pan with any juice so that it is completely submerged (add more broth if necessary). Bring to boil.

Cover and transfer to a 325 degree oven and cook, turning beef occasionally, until fork tender, about 2-1/2 hours.

Let cool slightly and break up pieces of beef with a fork, discarding any fat bits.

Serve warm over rice, in a bun or in warmed tortillas.

This recipe can also be made in a crock pot for easy clean up and transport to your summer event. On the stove top, cook onion, celery, and peppers according to directions above. Stir in salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and tomatoes. Place beef blade roast in your crock pot. Transfer your sautéed vegetables into crockpot over beef. Add beef broth to cover roast, add more if needed. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6, until beef is tender and pulls apart on your fork.

Barley no-stir risotto

Barley no-stir risotto

Barley offers up a delicious and rich tasting alternative to rice in a risotto. With its slightly firm texture and easy preparation this creamy risotto is a breeze because there is no continuous stirring involved.

Ingredients:

2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil

1 pkg (8 oz/227) mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian seasoning

1 cup (250 mL) pot barley

4 cups (1 L) vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup (125 mL) roasted or sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup (60 mL) light herbed cream cheese

Directions:

In saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat and cook mushrooms, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning, stirring for about 15 minutes or until no liquid remains. Stir in barley to coat.

Add broth and tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for about 20 minutes or until barley is tender but firm.

Stir in cream cheese until melted and creamy; cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.