Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Banana Pudding Cake & Happy Canada Day!

Banana Pudding Cake
Well, hello folks!

Yes, it's been almost a year since my last post. There are days that go by that I miss blogging but then there are other days I am thankful to have such wonderful memory filled days with my growing boys! This past year my hubby went through a job change which has made such a great difference in our schedules as a family. I do a meal plan for suppers from Monday - Friday and every Friday is pizza night! I'm currently on week 23 and it helps so much with sticking to a tight budget and we really enjoy eating at home. Even the hubs gets to take over a night or two during the week and it's great when he does! Our cooking and baking adventures have not ceased and there have been lots of new creations over the past year. Instagram has also become a great outlet for pictures and one of these days I may have to go through them and add the recipes to the blog. But for now, Happy Canada Day!

Banana Pudding Cake was a hit! Great way to use up some brown bananas.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Cupcakes for Leeland's 3rd Birthday Party!

As a 'stay at home' mom, it can be hard keeping things updated and current when you are chasing two little guys who need your full attention. In the evenings, I like to relax with my hubby and enjoy a nice meal and just enjoy some quality time together or work on another project. I love this blog and have been doing it for the last two and a half years, but it is time to change some things up. 

I have a knack for baking, cooking, creating, food photography, entertaining, blogging and lots of other hobbies like couponing and at home projects which I enjoy doing on a daily basis. You might think, and I've been told, "How do you have time to do all these things and chase those boys?" The answer is, well, that's just me and who I am. I enjoy doing all those things (those who really know me know I get it from my mom). They are not really a big deal to me. I love to make over-the-top meals even if it's just for my toddlers who end up trashing it on the floor. To me, they are like my little guests. We also as a family don't eat out at a lot of restaurants and so I like to make meals at home and experiment with new recipes and above all share them with everyone!

Back in February of this year (2012) I had the opportunity with my best friend to audition for a show on Food Network called "Recipe to Riches" Season 2 and entered my pretzel bites which I named "Canadian Bacon Bites" and was able to snag a "Golden Ticket" which made me the top 15 in Canada in my category of savoury snacks. I did not get through to the top 3 and make it to the competition in Toronto, but being in that environment and among the celebrity judges sure gave me the confidence to know I can do more. I did end up having an opportunity through my blog to work with Maple Leaf Canada and their product Oliveri to create some meals using their pasta which they posted on their Facebook Fanpage to over 40,000 fans! They sent me a $50 gift card and 10 free product coupons to use to make these meals. There was also another opportunity with GoldSeal tuna after I submitted a recipe using their flavoured tuna. They sent me some free product coupons and some other gift items as well. All in all, a lot of confidence was built and put to use!

So, this is where I stand now. I want to further in my baking and creations to share with others on a different scale. This blog isn't just a blog to me, it's also my virtual cookbook and I will be updating it here and there. For now, the blog address is and will become something new, exciting, and hopefully produce a little extra money for this 'stay at home' mom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lemon Brownies

Lemon Brownies
When life gives you lemons... make Lemon Brownies! The taste of lemon is so refreshing and this makes a great summer dessert. It's quick and easy! If you love lemons, then you will love these! I doubled up on the lemon glaze since the recipe didn't give enough to spread around the top... well not enough for me anyways. Enjoy these squares of lemony goodness!

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. 

Zest and juice two small lemons; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachement, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze by whisking together all three ingredients. Spread over the brownies with a rubber spatula, cut into bars, and serve!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Olivieri Basil Pesto Chicken Legs & Pasta w/ a GIVEAWAY!

Olivieri Basil Pesto Chicken Leg w/ Spinach & Cheese Ravioli 
Olivieri Basil Pesto pasta sauce can be used for more than just on pasta. I spread some of the pesto on chicken legs and then baked them in the oven. I paired it up with some Olivieri Spinach and Cheese Ravioli  and some more of the Basil Pesto pasta sauce. It was a great meal with lots of flavour. Thanks Olivieri!

I thoroughly enjoyed creating these wonderful meals using Olivieri products over the past week. They are quick and easy to prepare. You can also pair these meals up with one of their garlic breads too! Here is a giveaway for 2 free product coupons for you to try some of Olivieri's gourmet pastas and sauces. They have an amazing selection to choose from in the deli section of your grocery store. As a bonus, I am also including an Olivieri BOGO coupon too!

Please be sure to check out my lastest blog posts using Olivieri products in some fun and invented ways your whole family will enjoy.

Lasagna Enchiladas
Fried 3 Cheese Tortellini

(Disclosure: "I am a member of the Maple Leaf Foods Connects Program. As a part of my participation, I have been compensated both monetarily and with free product, however, all opinions and ideas shared on this blog remain my own.")

To enter this contest, all you need to do is:

 1) Leave a comment on this blog post about which Olivieri recipe you would be interested in trying out from Meals with Michelle, the Lasagna Enchiliadas, Fried 3 Cheese Tortellini, or Basil Pesto Chicken Legs. 

2) For an extra entry, follow Meals with Michelle on Facebook 

3) For another extra entry, follow Olivieri on Facebook

The deadline for the contest will be May 16th, 2012 at 10pm (Atlantic time). This is for CANADA residents only. Winner will be announced on the Meals with Michelle website and on the fan Facebook page (so make sure you are following!). Thank you and good luck! ~Michelle

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lasagna Enchiladas by Olivieri

Lasagna Enchiladas 
 Instead of creating just a good ole regular lasagna out of the Olivieri lasagna sheets, I thought of another way to use them. It's a play on enchiladas by using the noodles instead of tortilla wraps. There are six noodle sheets in a 360 gram package so enough for six servings. As far as what to put inside of the lasagna is really up to you. I used extra lean ground beef with some added chili seasonings and pasta sauce and also 1% Cottage Cheese mixed with some grated Parmesan cheese and chopped up fresh parsley. I topped it off with some pasta sauce, grated cheese, chopped fresh parsley, and I sprinkled some Reggiano Parmesan cheese too. A very inventive way to use lasagna sheets if you ask me! Here is the recipe:

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 tbsp. chili seasoning
2-3 cups pasta sauce
1 cup Cottage Cheese (I used 1%)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (some for the cottage cheese mixture and some for the topping)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 package Olivieri Oven Ready Lasagna Sheets

Turn oven to 350 degrees. Cook beef until done then add chili seasoning and about 2 cups of pasta sauce. In another small bowl, combine Cottage cheese, Parmesan, and parsley. Take an 8" x 11" baking dish and line it with some of the pasta sauce. Take a lasagna sheet and add some of the beef mixture and cheese mixture then roll it up and place it in the baking dish. When finished with all the sheets, top with pasta sauce (cover all over the top), shredded cheese, and parsley. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. 

(Disclosure: "I am a member of the Maple Leaf Foods Connects Program. As a part of my participation, I have been compensated both monetarily and with free product, however, all opinions and ideas shared on this blog remain my own.")

Fried 3 Cheese Herb Tortellini by Olivieri

Fried 3 Cheese Herb Tortellini
Being creative is one thing, but being creative with a product that is already on its own fantastic is another. Olivieri has given me the opportunity to try out some of their amazing pastas and sauces in order to create something new. As part of their Connects Program, "I am a member of the Maple Leaf Foods Connects Program. As a part of my participation, I have been compensated both monetarily and with free product, however, all opinions and ideas shared on this blog remain my own."

The first product I am blogging is for their 3 Cheese Herb Tortellini. I decided to bread them and fry to get crispy morsels of cheesy goodness. Then I added them on a skewer stick with some sauteed mushroom halves and some cubed up pieces of cooked dill salmon. You could also use pieces of chicken, pork, beef or just make it all veggies! The fried Tortellini is great on it's own as an appetizer and dipped in Olivieri's Alfredo sauce too. Here is the recipe for the Fried 3 Cheese Herb Tortellini by Olivieri and Meals with Michelle!

For the breading:
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (or plain bread crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs lightly beaten
350 grams package of 3 Cheese Herb Tortellini by Olivieri
Vegetable oil for frying

Cook the Tortellini as directed on the package. Rinse in cold water. Add some oil to a frying pan and turn on low heat until the oil is ready to use (Stick a wooden spoon into the oil and hold it straight up while resting on the bottom of the frying pan and when it starts to bubble it's ready). You will need 3 bowls, 1 for the flour, 1 for the eggs, and 1 for the Italian bread crumbs combined with the Parmesan cheese. Dip the Tortellini into the flour (shake off excess flour), then into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs. Put them in another bowl until you are ready to fry up a bunch. Put them into the oil for about 1 minute or until crispy golden brown. Remove from oil and place on some papertowel.

Saute some mushroom halves with some butter in a small frying pan until tender. I used salmon trimmings cubed up then sprinkled with some dill, salt, and pepper then cooked in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. The completed skewer was then placed on top of a Caesar salad with real bacon and shaved Reggiano Parmesan cheese. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oreo & Cream Cookies

Oreo & Cream Cookies
It seems lately that I always have a package of Oreo cookies hanging out in my cupboard. There are so many different creations you can make with them! I came across a 'cookies and cream' white chocolate bar on sale at the grocery store and thought they would make the perfect chocolate chips in an 'Oreo & Cream' cookie. Here is the recipe for the cookie dough adapted from Picky Palate!

1 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 - 1 1/2 Cups chopped cookies and cream white chocolate
1 1/2 Cups chopped up Oreo cookies or about a row and a half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, combine in a stand mixer or hand mixer butter and sugars then add the eggs and vanilla until combined. In another bowl sift flour, salt, and baking soda then add to wet mixture. Stir in chocolate and Oreo pieces. 1 round tablespoon of dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.