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Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

What’s For Dinner? Sloppy Joe Menu

Make tonight Sloppy Joe night!  A delicious and fun dinner everyone loves, complete with two side dishes and a fun drink!

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Welcome back to What’s For Dinner!  This week it Sloppy Joe time!  My kids go crazy for Sloppy Joes…there’s just something so fun about them, not to mention the fact that they’re delicious!  And this recipe is super easy because you can make it in the crockpot.  Then to complete the menu I’m sharing 2 side dishes and a fun drink idea!  This menu would be great for a summer dinner on the deck…use fresh corn and garden carrots…so good.

Sloppy Joe Dinner Menu

  • Main Dish:  Crockpot Sloppy Joes
  • Side Dish:  Basil Butter Roasted Corn
  • Side Dish:  Glazed Carrots
  • Drink:  Shirley Temples

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

After just a few minutes prep, you can walk away for the day and come back to delicious Crockpot Sloppy Joes!  Serve over fresh buns.

Basil Butter Roasted Corn

Sloppy Joes are always great with corn on the cob. This Basil Butter Roasted Corn is a nice way to serve up fresh summer corn and basil!

Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots are also a nice side dish for this dinner menu!  They’re the best with fresh garden carrots.

Shirley Temples

And instead of dessert, why not make Shirley Temples for everyone!  My kids LOVE these.

I hope you enjoy this dinner menu!

More What’s For Dinner Menu Ideas:

Want more menu ideas?

Sign up for my weekly e-mail and you will have some delicious meal menus delivered to your inbox…complete with a main course, salads or side dishes, and a dessert!  Sign up here!

Have a delicious day!

 

Turkey Lentil Tacos

Make these Turkey Lentil Tacos in less than 1 hour!  A delicious and healthy meal for busy weeknights!

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While I’m not wishing our summer away, once August arrives my mind does turn towards the fall, with thoughts of back to school. Mostly with regards to meal planning.  I like this shift in thinking and actually welcome it with open arms…fall meals are my favourite!

Making the transition from relaxed days, later bedtimes, sleeping in and weekend fun, to schedules, routines and healthy habits can be hard.  I also know that meal planning for busy weeknights can also be a challenge for families, so that’s why I like to share simple, delicious and healthy meal ideas with you.  Why not start now, so we can hit September head on, and ready!

These Turkey Lentil Tacos are a perfect dinner for busy weeknights. They’re delicious, healthy and ready in 45 minutes.

Turkey Lentil Tacos

Lentils are a perfect protein-packed staple that you can add to many breakfast, lunch or dinner dishes.  They are a nutritional powerhouse, high in protein and fibre, and are a great source of minerals such as potassium, iron, and folate.  And they’re delicious…add them to soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and tacos!

Turkey Lentil Tacos

Taco nights are always a favourite in our house, and probably the most asked for dinner by my kids.  To try something new, I made Turkey Lentil Tacos.  As an alternative to hamburger, I paired lentils with ground turkey, making this a doubly nutritious, lean, protein packed meal!

Turkey Lentil Tacos

I cooked the turkey/lentil filling with a batch of homemade taco seasoning, and the end result is a flavourful base for taco night!  Nutritious and delicious…can’t beat that.  And topped off with all of your favourite taco toppings, this taco night is complete!

Turkey Lentil Tacos

Lay out your taco night in a buffet style and let everyone make their tacos to their tastebuds.  Set out cheese, salsa, mango, purple cabbage, lettuce, green onion, peppers, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, soft flour tortillas, and your turkey lentil filling.  Delicious.

Turkey Lentil Tacos

All ready to load up!

Turkey Lentil Tacos

Your family will really enjoy these…my kids went back for seconds!

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Turkey Lentil Tacos

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Turkey:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Lentils:

  • 3/4 cup cooked red split lentils

Taco Toppings:

  • shredded cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded purple cabbage
  • chopped mango
  • chopped red pepper
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped cilantro
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced green onions
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • soft flour tortillas

Instructions

Cooking the Lentils:

  1. In a saucepan add 1/2 cup dried, red split lentils, and cover with about 2 inches of water.

  2. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.

  3. Drain and set aside.

Cooking the Turkey:

  1. In a skillet add the ground turkey and chopped onions.

  2. Stir and cook until the turkey is no longer pink, and the onions are soft.

  3. Add the spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar and salt. Mix well.

  4. Stir in the cooked lentils. 

  5. If the mixture seems to dry, mix in about 2 tbsp of water.

Putting the tacos together:

  1. Lay all the taco toppings out in a buffet style on your table, and let everyone make their own delicious tacos!

Turkey Lentil Tacos

5 Tips to Make Back-To-School Easy with Canadian Turkey and Lentils:

  1. Batch It!  Turkey and lentils are the perfect choice for batch cooking. Cook a little extra turkey to provide planned leftovers, so you can cook once and eat twice!  And lentils can be cooked in large batches and refrigerated or frozen in pre-set amounts, so that they’re ready to thaw and use for your next recipe.
  2. Get Healthy!  Both lentils and turkey are a great source of protein and important minerals, and lentils are a great source of fibre.  Combine the two, and you’ll power up your plate!
  3. Keep It Simple!  Lentils are quick and easy to cook, and they don’t require pre-soaking. Both turkey and lentils can be cooked ahead of time and freeze well, so they’re ready when you are!
  4. Versatility Plus!  Turkey adapts to all of your favourite flavour profiles and spice combinations, and with so many cuts to choose from you can find choices that please the whole family. With lentils, the options are endless since they can be used in countless different recipes, including salads, smoothies and even desserts!  Turkey and lentils are delicious at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and everything in between.  Both can be enjoyed hot or cold, and taste great the next day, too!
  5. Boost It!  Add lentils and turkey to your favourite dishes for an instant protein boost!  Salads, soups, pasta sauces and casseroles all benefit from the added nutrients lentils and turkey contribute.

Try More Turkey Recipes:

Giveaway Time! Win a $75 Prepaid Visa Gift Card

Canadian Turkey and Lentils.org want to give you a $75 Prepaid Visa Gift Card to help out with Back to School!  Enter below to win!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Canadian Turkey and Lentils.org.  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  I only partner with brands and products that I use in my own home.

Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

You can have a delicious batch of jam ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes, with this Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam recipe!

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I’m a big fan of small batch jams.  I love being able to take a few cups of very ripe fruit or berries, and turn it in to a delicious batch jam to enjoy on toast or over ice cream.  But I think a lot of people don’t make jams because they’re afraid of the canning part of the process, but I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to can your jam. Yes, it’s true.

Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

With small batch jams, where you only have 1 to 2 cups of jam, canning this small amount isn’t worth it.  Why you ask?  Because you can finish off a small batch of jam in no time, so there is no need to can it.  In fact, these types of jams can last in your fridge for up to 3 weeks, and I know that we can finish them off in less time than that.

Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

So now when you think about it, making jam is really, really easy.  And most times only requires 2 ingredients…the fruit you choose and sugar.  Most berries and jam fruits have enough pectin in them that you don’t need to add any extra. The sugar and cooked fruit makes the jam nice and jamm-y without any added ingredients.  Really, jams are one of the easiest things to make.  And there’s nothing more delicious than homemade jam.

Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

Especially Raspberry Jam.  Raspberry jam is my favourite jam, next to peach jam.  I made this small batch of raspberry jam with some raspberries that I had around that were getting really ripe, really fast.  Just add sugar and heat, and you have jam.

Easy 2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

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2 Ingredient Raspberry Jam

This small batch jam makes about 1 cup.

Servings 19
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raspberries (about 3 heaping cups)
  • 2/3 cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix together the raspberries and sugar in a wide saucepan or skillet.
  2. Over low to medium heat, cook the raspberry/sugar mixture, stirring constantly, until it is gently boiling. Keep cooking, and stirring until the mixture thickens. You must stir constantly or your jam will burn.

  3. Cook the mixture for about 10-15 minutes. You will know the jam is ready when the mixture is thick enough to leave an open trail behind the spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, and let cool completely before serving.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Because the batch of this jam is so small you don’t really need to seal the jars because you will use it up so fast! Refrigerate the jam for up to 3 weeks.

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Recipe Idea to Try!

Use some of your jam to make these Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

I swirled in some homemade raspberry jam into cream cheese and brownie batter and made these Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies!  I’m sharing this delicious recipe over on the Kendall-Jackson blog.  Click over to get it…you won’t be sorry!

More Easy and Delicious Small Batch Jam Recipes:

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Kendall-Jackson wines!  But as always the pictures, my voice, all content, and opinions are mine alone.  Happy Summer! xo

What’s For Dinner? Pizza Night Menu

What’s For Dinner?  This simple Pizza Night Menu is ready in under 1 hour!

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It’s time again for What’s For Dinner!  As we get closer to fall, I’m finding the need for menu planning is becoming more important than ever!  When summer hits, routine tends to fly out the window over here, and while I do love that about summer, I do reach a point where I start to crave routine.  So I thought it was a good time to get these  ‘What’s For Dinner’ menu plans going again!

This week I’m sharing a simple Pizza Menu.  You can make this grilled flatbread recipe, or create your own favourite…it’s just having the idea at your fingertip that is helpful.  And the best thing about this menu, is that you can have it all on your table in 1 hour or less.  Cheesy pizza, flavourful Caprese salad and a light and fluffy strawberry whipped cream dessert.  Definitely a family pleaser!

Pizza Night Menu

  • Main Dish:  Cheesy Grilled Chicken Flatbread
  • Side Salad:  Easy Caprese Salad
  • Dessert:  Strawberry Cloud Dessert

Cheesy Grilled Chicken Flatbread

This Cheesy Grilled Chicken Flatbread is a simple and delicious pizza!  Keep things simple and use pre-made crusts, and bagged shredded cheese.  Shortcuts like these make dinner times way less stressful!

Easy Caprese Salad

And for a side dish, this Easy Caprese Salad pairs perfectly with pizza!  We love the mini bocconcini cheese!

Strawberry Cloud Dessert

Then for dessert, this simple and delicious Strawberry Cloud Dessert is perfect!  You can make this dessert in 15 minutes or less!  And if you wish, use blueberries or raspberries instead.  So good.

More What’s For Dinner Menu Ideas:

Want more menu ideas?

Sign up for my weekly e-mail and you will have some delicious meal menus delivered to your inbox…complete with a main course, salads or side dishes, and a dessert!  Sign up here!

Have a delicious day!

Saskatoon Berry Pie

This Saskatoon Berry Pie tastes like summer!  Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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Only recently did I realize that not everyone knows what Saskatoon berries are.  I just assumed Saskatoons bushes were in everyones yards or nearby forests…as kids these were the berries we picked copius amounts of right from the bush.

If you haven’t had them before don’t be fooled by the fact that they look like blueberries…these berries actually don’t have a lot of flavour and are kind of dry, but they’re good.  I’m not really selling them am I? 😉  I do love them.  They remind me of home and summer.

They’re especially delicious turned into a luscious pie filling.

Saskatoon Berry Pie

Last week my kids came home from their annual week long adventure with Grandma and Grandpa, and with them they brought back a big bag of freshly picked Saskatoons.  So of course I had to make pie.

Saskatoon Berry Pie

And because I love to use cutters for my pie crusts, I decided to have fun with this pie too.  Truth be told, I find these ‘fancy’ top crusts so much easier to make than the traditional or lattice pie crusts.  I find it SO easy to just cut out little shapes, and as a major bonus the crust ends up looking so nice.  If you want to see my other pretty crusts, I made an apple pie, a turkey pot pie and a mincemeat pie.

Saskatoon Berry Pie

For this Saskatoon Berry Pie I used a tiny flower cookie cutter.  Doesn’t it look so nice?  If you caught my Instagram story you got to see this pie bubbling all delicious right out of the oven.  Bubbly bubbly yummmmmm

Saskatoon Berry Pie

Serve your Saskatoon Berry Pie warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have summer on a plate.  Delicious.

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Saskatoon Berry Pie

Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling:

  • 4 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour

Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening (lard)
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Making the Saskatoon Berry Filling:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the berries, water and lemon juice, and simmer for 10 minutes over low-medium heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.
  3. Then add the sugar/flour mix to the berries and combine.
  4. Simmer until the mixture slightly thickens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool.

Making the Pie Crust:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  2. With a pie cutter, cut in shortening until the particles are pea sized.
  3. Sprinkle in water, 1 tsp or so at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Don't over mix or the crust will be tough.
  4. Press into a ball. It is okay if it is crumbly. In fact crumbly makes for a tender, flaky crust!
  5. Separate the ball into 2 balls: one for the bottom crust and one for the top.

Baking the pie:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roll out one ball of the pie crust for the bottom of your pie.  Then place it into your pie plate. Gently press down.

  3. Add the Saskatoon berry filling.
  4. Dot the filling with small pieces of the butter (about 1 - 2 tsp total).
  5. For the pie crust top, roll out the other ball of dough and place it over the top of your pie. Press together the edges of the crust. Then trim off the extra dough.

  6. Using a knife make air vents by cutting slits in the crust.
  7. If you want to make a fancy crust, use a small cookie cutter and create shapes for the crust topping.  Randomly place them on the pie filling.  (Refer to the pictures above)

  8. Brush the crust lightly with milk, then generously sprinkle the crust with a cinnamon and sugar mix.

  9. In your preheated 425 degree oven, bake your pie for 20 minutes.
  10. Then after this time slip a cookie sheet onto the rack below your pie, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 35-40 minutes more. Bake until the crust is golden brown and your filling is bubbling in the vents.
  11. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Recipe Notes

Tip!

  • If the edge of the crust starts to turn brown too quickly, use pieces of tinfoil to cover the edges while the pie continues to bake.  Just make sure only to cover the edge.

 

Saskatoon Berry Pie

More Delicious Saskatoon Recipes:

Saskatoon Berry Galette

Saskatoon Berry Galette

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

How To Freeze Saskatoon Berries

How To Freeze Saskatoon Berries

Have a delicious day!

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

These Tipsy Cheese & Cherry Crostinis are a perfect summer appetizer!  Made with fresh seasonal cherries and a flavourful Swiss like cheese.

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It’s Cheese of the Month time!  I hope you look forward to this cheesy goodness each month, as much as I do!  I’m really enjoying discovering new Canadian cheeses.  Canada has an amazing range of award-winning cheeses from different regions all across the country, so it’s exciting to be able find new ones and share them with you each month.  Canadian cheese really is the best cheese.

So far through this partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada, I’ve had the chance to feature ‘Heidi’ in a Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam, ‘Dragon’s Breath Blue’ in a Dessert Cheese Plate and ‘Comfort Cream’ in a Baked Canadian Camembert with Rhubarb Compote.  And this month I’m sharing Gunn’s Hill Tipsy Cheese in these Tispy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis!  Dee. Licious.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Tipsy comes from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese out of Woodstock, Ontario. All of their cheeses are made with milk right from the family dairy farm.  When I first tasted Tipsy Cheese I knew right away this was my favourite thus far.  It’s a mild and creamy cheese with a subtle Merlot flavour.  The Merlot flavour comes from the rind, as Tipsy has been soaked in Palatine Hills Cabernet Merlot for several days, so the rind is so good. So so good.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Because I loved the flavours of the wine and cheese so much, I wanted to preserve them in a recipe.  I wanted to make something that would bring out the true flavours of the cheese, so I decided to make these Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis. And they’re perfect for summer!

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

I kept things simple and made a cherry balsamic reduction to drizzle all over fresh bread and slices of the Tipsy cheese. And it works.  Oh does it ever.  You get rich and sweet cherry flavours, but you can still taste the creamy cheese with wine undertones.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Tipsy is definitely on my list of favourite cheeses.  I will be packing Tipsy on our next picnic, with crackers and bread…it’s a perfect picnic cheese.

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Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, cut in half and pits removed
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 block of Gunn's Hill Tipsy Cheese
  • 1 baguette
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Mix together the water and cornstarch.
  2. In a saucepan over low to medium heat, add the halved cherries, water/cornstarch mix, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the cherries are soft and the juices turn syrupy.

  3. Once the cherries are cooked, set them aside to cool.
  4. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices. If you wish, you can toast the slices or leave them fresh, it's entirely up to you!

  5. Lay the baguette slices out on a serving platter, add slices of the Tipsy Cheese, then add dollops of the cherry mixture to each crostini.
  6. Drizzle with extra cherry syrup, add salt & fresh ground pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley.
  7. Enjoy!

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

About Gunn’s Hill Tipsy Cheese:

  • Type:  Handcrafted washed rind cow’s milk cheese, modelled after a Swiss cheese.  Soaked in Palatine Hills Cabernet Merlot.
  • Tasting Notes: Mild creamy cheese with lactic and buttery flavours. With an edible rind rich in Merlot flavour.
  • Pairs Well With:  Lighter white wines like Riesling, as well as Lager beers.
  • Location:  Woodstock, Ontario

More Ways to Enjoy Cheese!

Visit Dairy Farmers of Canada for delicious recipes using cheese!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada.  I will be working with Dairy Farmers of Canada over the next year to bring you some delicious recipe ideas that I have created!  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  I love cheese. 😉

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

Getting together with friends and family over food, has never been easier!  Here are 5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ!

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I think it’s obvious that I love to cook and bake, but at the same time I’m the first person to admit that there are times when it’s just nice to buy things that are ready to go.  This is especially true for last minute gatherings with friends and family…impromptu BBQ’s on summer nights are the best.  So I gathered some friends together for a BBQ and we tried out some of President’s Choice new Canadiana themed food from the PC Insider’s Collection!

Here are 5 tips to make these last minute get togethers fun and stress free!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

1.  Buy everything that you can

Sometimes it’s just nice, and necessary, to buy everything that you need to host a BBQ with friends.  It takes the load off and means that you don’t have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing dinner!  We bought premade burgers, smokies, chips, buns, drinks dessert and Maple Marshmallow s’more ingredients!  I did make a pasta salad, but only because I wanted to!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

For this BBQ we tried out the PC Loads of Canadiana Beef Burger and PC Poutine Flavour Smokies!  It was a great opportunity to try some fun new flavours!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

2.  Make it self serve

Make dinner a buffet.  Spread everything you are serving out on a table, and let your guest help themselves.  People love to do this…it feels casual and fun.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

3.  Put all the drinks into a cooler with ice

Fill up a cooler with ice and put it out on the deck where you will be having dinner.  That way your guests can just help themselves when they want something!  We put out a selection of PC Organics Watermelon Lemonade, iced tea, PC De-Alcoholized Lemon Radlers, and Caesar’s using the new PC Bacon Flavour Tomato Clam Cocktail!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

4.  Keep the set up simple.

Host everything outdoors, this makes clean up so easy!  Then throw on a table cloth, put out paper plates, napkins and cutlery.  Set out cushions for comfort, string some lights around your patio, light candles and don’t forget to keep the bugs away with a citronella candle.  An easy breezy night.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

5.  Don’t stress

But most of all, don’t stress.  Nights like these are supposed to be fun.  That’s why you’re buying what you need…so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your impromptu night with friends.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by President’s Choice, owned by Loblaw Companies Limited.  But as always the pictures, my voice, all content, and opinions are mine alone.  Happy Summer! xo