Tim Horton's chili is a favourite among many so I decided to look for a copy cat recipe and there are many out there. I tried this on and seemed to be it.
This will be the chili that I make from now on.

You can find the recipe here at www.food.com and if you are looking to do it in a crock pot this is their recommendation: 
If cooking the chili in a crock pot, drain the tomatoes; cover and cook on low for about 5 hours. Chili can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight. Freezes well too so would be good OAMC recipe
2 lbs ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 -3 onions, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 (19 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
2 (10 ounce) cans mushroom pieces, drained, chopped
2 (10 ounce) cans tomato soup, undiluted
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 -2 garlic cloves, minced or 3 teaspoons garlic powder


  1. Brown the ground beef in the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until no longer pink; place in a large pot. Do not drain.
  2. Sauté onion, celery and green pepper in the drippings, in the same frying pan used for the ground beef, for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
  3. Add a little of the chili powder.
  4. Add sautéed veggies to the ground beef.
  5. Add rinsed and drained kidney beans, mushrooms pieces, undiluted tomato soup and tomatoes with the liquid.
  6. Add the rest of the chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic.
  7. Stir ingredients together well.
  8. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally.

This past summer dear hubby started to take a liking to oatmeal. While he likes oatmeal cookies and such things, oatmeal in a bowl has never been his thing. The change started when I bought some instant oatmeal packages for the kids for at the trailer. They were on a good sale (otherwise I would never have bought it) so I also picked up the Dino Eggs for fun. Our darling daughter dared Dad to try the oatmeal, which he did, and he discovered he liked it. Now his preference is to add just a small amount of water to just get the oatmeal wet. He does not like the mushy oatmeal in the picture. 

Now this change of heart lead to the purchase of lots of boxes of instant oatmeal, with hubby's excuse being that he's "taking care of my heart". But my heart was aching seeing all this excess packing in the recycle box, not to mention that even on sale, just how much more expensive this is then homemade oatmeal, and the sugar and extra ingredients in these little packages is a little too much than my liking. Not want to squash this new love for oatmeal in the family I looked to Pinterest. I knew there was a solution. Homemade Instant Oatmeal!

Looking on Pinterest there are lots of pins for homemade instant oatmeal. I tried one that added flour, thinking it would give that creamy texture, but it didn't go over well with my gang. You can add dried milk if you'd like, but didn't really notice a difference with that. I discovered while the kids do like cinnamon, they like a little while hubby likes a lot. In the end, it really is an embarrassingly simple solution... it's homemade oatmeal but not cooked in a pot.

Next thing to solve was the dino eggs that the kids love so much. They like to dig them out before the hot water is added and see who had the most. Too me these eggs are just excess sugar and junk in our food brought on by good marketing. Once in a while is a treat, but every morning is unwise. I think I came up with a much better option; yogurt covered peanuts (my kids don't like raisins) and the kids seem to like them even better than the dino eggs. Another win-win.

So now we have our own homemade version of Instant Oatmeal, listed below, so easy even hubby makes it.  I make up the mix in a container and then in the morning all that is needed is a half cup of the mix, enough hot water to your liking and top with "dino eggs" or more cinnamon and the family thinks they are getting something so much better than homemade oatmeal. Some have even asked if they could have it for lunch at school. Crazy isn't it. I tell ya, it's all in the marketing.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal - Cook House Style

4 cups oatmeal (I used the quick oatmeal but whole should work too.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix this up in a container to store.

Been reading the book Wheat Belly and so I thought I'd try a wheat free week. Well maybe not completely wheat free but at least our supper meals.  Baby steps, right. Being wheat free isn't really a goal of mine but I am trying to be more aware of glucose index (GI) and wheat does have a high GI so it can't hurt to try these Wheat Belly recipes. Note: not everything below is from the Wheat Belly Cookbook, just those that are italicized.

Peppered steak, quinoa and green beans. Wheat Belly doesn't actually agree to using quinoa because it has carbs, but it is an OK level of carbs and eating it with steak will lower the GI impact on the meal anyway.

Tuesday: Almond crusted chicken, carrot rice and salad. Again Whet Belly doesn't encourage rice, but its going to be
basamati rice which has the lower of GI of the rices out there, so I'm good with that.

Wednesday: Meatloaf , mashed potatoes and salad. I don't know what Wheat Belly thinks of potatoes yet; haven't finished
the book yet, but what is meatloaf without mashed potatoes.

Thursday: Thai Chicken Curry Soup with salad on the side. Sounds yummy to me, not sure what the kids will think but gotta keep expanding their horizons.  If you notice salad a lot, I like to make a big batch and then I have for a couple of meals and only chop veggies once.  Dressing is always on the side at each meal.

Friday: Taco Pie and veggie sticks.  The taco pie will use the Wheat Belly version of tortillas.  Sound good too and kids
do like tacos.

The weekend usually is for eating up leftovers and/or what ever comes to mind.  I like to plan the weekday meals as the weekdays are most busy and that is when I benefit the most from planning.  I think this should be a good week for supper. The meals look more than reasonable. Now if I tried a bean week, I'd have a mutiny on my hands I'm sure.

Who else does menuplanning? Do you plan weekly, bi-weekly or whatever?  I find if I do this it helps me out a lot because I don't have to ask "what's for supper" every day.
I had my doubts that these wheat-free pancakes would work or even taste good, but they did. I used recipe in  "The Wheat Belly Cookbook." I did change it a bit; I exchanged one cup of the ground almond with chickpea flour. I did that for two reasons; 1) chickpea flour is cheaper than ground almonds, and 2) I thought all almond flour would be too grainy.
The family ate them just like any other time. Overall a great
success. Will make them again. 
My mom cooked and baked a lot.  We didn't go out to eat often as kids, nor did my parents go out much to eat themselves, and the closest thing to ready made food was canned peaches.  It was a different time then than now... or it seems that way. We saw our mom cook and bake and eventually we did too.  She didn't make it a lesson but more "here, do this while I finish this".  We saw, we learned and then we repeated.  As we got older, should we get home before our mom and saw she put something out to thaw for supper, we sometimes would just start making supper. She didn't care what we made as I think she was grateful that someone started something and she didn't have to cook.  (After so many years of cooking, day in day out, ya I wouldn't be picky either.) 

My mom also made us lunches, even when we were in high school that had a cafeteria. While I think it was more monetary motivated than health, I look back now and think we were fortunate.  In the long run I think we ate a lot better than cafeteria eaters at school. And yes, I did long to get a hamburger, pizza and fries, but nope I had my lunch and no money to do otherwise.... and I'm better off for that.

We also had this class called Home Ec. Ya, do you remember that? We were taught in school about food, food groups, how to prepare food and follow a recipe. Are there classes like this still? I don't know, but I hope so.

So as I read and hear more about childhood obesity, the junk food and lack of exercise being the main culprit, and the general lack of knowledge of what real food is,... something has to be done. I think about my kids, and while I think I'm doing well, I still question, am I?  I have and do involve my kids in making supper and when baking and when grocery shopping show them foods and tell them what things are when they ask.  When making their lunches, I am consciously aware to include all food groups and yet still struggle with what to do with the picky eaters to make sure they eat something and hopefully something healthy.

I watched this link of Jamie Oliver.  He has done several Food Revolution shows and he is passionate about it. I found this motivating and want to continue improving on healthy eating, home cooking, real food and educating my kids on all this along the way. I'd love to find ways to take this out further as well. How about you?
Not meaning to do it, this week had an international flair. Here is this week menu plan.

Monday - Beefy Baked Ravioli - This was a winner with the family. 

Tuesday - Corned Beef Dinner - First time doing corned beef.  Was OK. Cooked cabbage got a thumbs down. The corned beef was good.

Wednesday - Curried Chicken - I don't often cook with curry, but when I was puting this one together, it smelled wonderful. I couldn't wait to sit down for supper. Sadly I was disappointed as the flavour was so much less than the smell of it. Still overall was a good dinner. I will have to investigate other curry dishes to see what was different. 

Thursday - Spicy Thai Peanut Steak - YES. Big hit (should say I don't really consider my two young ones to say if something is good because if it isn't peanut butter or nutella its next to impossible to get them to eat).  Hubby and my girl gave it 9.5 and buddy boy did eat his so that is really good. Will do this again and soon. The recipe I used is below but I used pad Thai sauce since I couldn't find spicy peanut Thai sauce, which is probably good as the family is not fond of spicy. I add spicy stuff to my food at the table. 
Friday - Crispy Crumbly Fish - Not bad for a fish dinner. Trying to include fish in our diet more but its not exciting to me. I want to stay away from for breaded and fried fish & chips as that seems so contradictory to me. 

Saturday - Southwest Chicken Pasta - Another OK dinner. Next time, instead of pasta, I will try rice. 

So this week we have gone to Italy, Ireland, India, Thailand, Canada and Mexico. This is good.

...Take it or leave it.
(hehe, love that saying.)

There is something that I had done before that I found helpful and I don't know why I didn't continue with it when I returned back to work.  Menu planning is what I am talking about.  A half hour to an hour for a week of knowing what's for dinner and what to buy grocery shopping.  It really did help me with the "what to make for supper" dilemma each day.  So I am trying this again.

I don't use anything fancy, just some cookbooks, www.allrecipes.com, and my list of days of the week.  As well, i just plan for supper, sometimes for breakfast or lunch if there is something special, but for the most part it is supper that is my hang up. 

So here is this weeks menu plan.  I'm trying some new recipes so if they are good I will add the recipes here. 

Monday - Stromboli (baked sandwich/loaf) - This was really good. I'll do it again. Family loved it and I also made this for another family and they loved it  too. 

Tuesday - Tortilla Soup - This was OK. I'll stick with taco soup instead.

Wednesday - Steak and Potatoes - Another good recipe for the crockpot. Tasted more like a roast than steak, but then again you can't beat the BBQ.

Thursday - Chicken Supreme - blech - nuf'said.

Friday - Fish and Rice - Fish had always been a challenge for me. I'll keep trying.

Saturday -  Leftovers

Sunday - Chicken Pasta Bake - ended up trying homemade gnochi instead.  Yummy.