The best of Canadian Budget Binder 2013

The-best-Canadian-Budget-Binder-2013THE BEST IS YET TO COME

 

The 2013 year has gone by so fast and with 2014 looming around the corner I am looking forward to our third year here at Canadian Budget Binder.

Over the past two years I have been met with many ups and downs here the biggest being re-designing the blog which took nearly a full year.

Personal finance has been a passion of mine for many years now and it’s been wonderful learning about Canadian personal finance and reading what others have to say while sharing my personal insights and stories. I especially love to share fan stories because the blog is for the fans, this is what I’m here for, you.

A huge positive for Canadian Budget Binder in 2013 was bringing Katrina and Nicola on board with me to share their insights and recipes. They are both my rock here and committed to helping others as much as I am and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Although Canadian Budget Binder is all about personal finance we all have to eat and eating costs money.

Food is a huge part of the success of this blog and it’s here to stay. The Grocery Game Challenge 2013 in my eyes was a huge success in 2013. We have many fans that post their grocery shop every week, faithfully and track their grocery budget along with us.

I am thrilled to have so many fans dedicated to their personal finance and hope in 2014 to get more fans on board posting their shops with us.

I love sharing ways to save money in the grocery budget and experimenting with new recipes from scratch while keeping the costs low in the budget.

I was even able to complete a full Free recipe index on the blog to make it easier to find all of the popular recipes that are posted every Sunday.

The blog re-design was a success finishing up near the end of September and I absolutely love the way it turned out. I hope to see this blog continue on the upswing as it has since it has begun.

What I love about the new blog design is that it allows me to create recipes that my fans can save and print for their own use which was something the fans were asking for and now I know why. It’s a simple feature that keeps recipes organized for anyone wanting to use them.

I went on to create a new Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I showcase other Foodie Bloggers and fan recipes along with Canadian Budget Binder recipes every single day.

That page has grown to over 1000 Likes in a very short amount of time and I know it will keep on growing. Word of mouth advertising and free advertising is a great way to help each other out and that is my way of giving back to the foodie community and foodie lovers like me.

 

The fans

 

I started the blog not thinking that anyone would want to listen to what I had to say although I am an optimist my persistence and positive attitude towards the good and the bad has led to having thousands of fans.

I’ve come to realize that not everything we want in life will come easy but if we push through those hurdles people will see your dedication and they will want to join in and help others along for the ride.

I’ve said it a million times but my fans.. they are amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better crowd of fans who aren’t shy to give their honest opinions and to help me when I’m in need, so thank-you..

 

The bloggers

 

I’ve also been fortunate to connect with many new personal finance bloggers in 2013 and it’s been great getting to know them.

I’ve been doing my best to try and feature as many of my favourite blogs in the Saturday Weekend Review post for my Making a Difference section in hopes that my fans will give their blogs a read as well.

If you would like to be featured and you own a personal finance blog that I follow please contact me today.

Thank-you to all my personal finance blogger and non-personal finance bloggers for all your continued support over the year and moving forward into 2014. You can expect the same support from this guy.

Today’s post I wanted to keep it simple and share with you the Top 10 Blog posts for 2013 here at Canadian Budget Binder. I hope you enjoy your New Years Bash…. and set goals for 2014 and work hard at sticking with them, I know I will be.

 

Top ten blog posts 2013

 

These are in no specific order…..

  1. Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) In Canada…. Did you know?
  2. How much should your grocery budget be?
  3. Dollar store pregnancy tests… do they work?
  4. Free Downloadable Money Saving Tools
  5. Canadian Law: Jury duty can take it’s toll on your budget
  6. How I paid off my OSAP loan fast
  7. Easy Chicken Curry in a Hurry
  8. The best seasoned crispy sweet potato fries
  9. Haggling the best deal with your communications company
  10. The Grocery Game Challenge Rules

 

Top social media

 

  1. Pinterest
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Stumble Upon

 

Top referring blogs

 

  1. Frugal Rules
  2. Modest Money
  3. Coupon Christine
  4. The Frugal Farmer
  5. My Own Advisor
  6. The Brighter Life
  7. I Heart Budgets
  8. Lil Suburban Homestead
  9. Simply Frugal

 

Top searched words

 

  1. Canadian Budget Binder
  2. Grocery Game Challenge
  3. Scanning code of practice
  4. Dollar store home pregnancy test
  5. Simple chicken curry recipe
  6. Garage Sale
  7. Budget spreadsheet
  8. Budget Binder
  9. Frugal living Canada
  10. Lemon Fridge Cake

Thank you all for your continued support here at Canadian Budget Binder and I hope to see the new year bring lots of new changes for all of us.

Happy New Year 2014 to all!

-xo Mr.CBB

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The Grocery Game Challenge Dec 23-29, 2013 #4- Final grocery budget yearly analysis

grocery-game-challenge-year-in-review-2013GROCERY BUDGET YEAR-END REVIEW

 

Where has the 2013 year gone because it certainly seems like it’s flown by since we posted the first Grocery Game Challenge post in January.

This year has certainly proven that we can get over any hurdles we create with our grocery budget but not without turbulence.

There were a few months that we spent more than the grocery budget of $235.00 per month and it took a while to get back on track.

Some of the items either purchased on the stockpile budget or just included in the main shop were bought to accumulate so it will become cheaper for certain items throughout this coming year.

A prime example of this is the “Clear Shampoo” which was at an unbelievable bargain of $0.99, which has led to acquiring approximately a year’s supply.

To be honest it didn’t feel so good having to spend less and less each month so we hope that next year we can try our hardest to stay out of the stores when we don’t need to be in them and to stick to the grocery budget.

In 2014 we will likely start using the Checkout 51 program so we can start saving more money on groceries every month. Now that we have the IPOD we have loaded the free Checkout 51 app and are ready to go.

I’m not sure what our grocery budget will be starting in January 2014 but from the numbers below I don’t imagine in will change too much. However, we are always open to new opportunities to save money in the grocery budget which will stretch the budget further.

The grand total spent on grocery shopping this year was $2626.03 which was $193.35 under budget but if you include the stockpile budget of $195.88 we were actually $2.53 over budget. That’s a pretty astonishing figure considering we set the budget for groceries way back in December last year.

You can see how budgeting your money for each month and then maintaining your spending habits can give results down the line.

We spent less than the amount we projected and budgeted for groceries in 2013 although we did introduce the stockpile budget which was a new category in our budget.

The stockpile budget allowed us to spend up to $20 per month on food that went on sale for an amazing deal that we wanted to stockpile. This has helped us out quite a bit and will likely continue to be part of our budget.

The rendezvous account is something we think we will not continue with rather we will budget more in our entertainment budget each month to make sure we are saving enough for holidays and any day trips we want to go on.

  • Did you stick to your grocery budget all year?
  • How did your year-end numbers look like and what changes will you make in 2014 to your grocery budget?

 

Final grocery budget numbers 2013

 

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Discounts Used 2013: $99.70
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used 2013: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used 2013: $50.00
  • Stockpile Budget Used 2013: $195.88
  • Total Coupons in 2013:$402.52
  • Total Spent To Date 2013:$2626.03 Under budget by $193.35
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

December grocery game challenge posts

 

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you. I will announce the December grocery game winner in the first Grocery Game Challenge 2014 for January.

 

Grocery saving tips

 

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!

 

Ultimate grocery shopping guide

 

download symbol

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly. If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below. If you know a topic that should be discussed, speak up. I want to know. Happy reading.

 

Food food and more food

 

what_s-in-mrcbbs-shopping-cart

Metro

  • 1 x Egg Nog $2.49
  • Nabob coffee Sake $4.50
  • Sardo Olives Sale $1.79
  • Selection Olives Sale $1.49
  • Bicks Pickles $2.99
  • 7x Clear Shampoo Sale $3.99-$3.00 peelie coupons
  • Pedigree Marrow Bone dog treats $4.99

Total out-of-pocket $33.92

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38

 

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget For December $235.00-$10.28 overspend= $224.72
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $18.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $20.00 chicken
  • Total Spent This Week: $33.92
  • Total Spent So Far for December $59.14+$3.97+$33.92=$203.47
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: Under $21.25
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $21.25
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $50.00
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0 New year starting 2014
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April) $397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 + (August) $182.35 + (September) $255.69 + (October) $196.64 + $245.28 (November)+ (December) $203.47=  $2626.03 (does not include stockpile budget) Year to date -193.35 under budget
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.
  • Weekly Overview: We are home at the relatives for the Christmas and New Years festivities so we didn’t need to spend too much this month.

 

Canadian Coupons Found

 

No coupons found this week as we did not go grocery shopping. Check back next week to see what we find. Post your finds as well in the comment section if you like.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.

 

  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?

 

No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.

 

  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?

 

The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.

 

  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?

 

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.

 

 

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.

 

  • What is an FPC?

 

An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.

 

 

You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.

 

 

I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices. Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this t of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

You’ve made a wise decision.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!

 

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Baked Loaded Cauliflower Pizza

 baked-cauliflower-pizza

Cauliflower Just Got A Whole Lot Better

If you are in the mood for an easy pizza recipe or if you aren’t good at making pizza dough than this is the pizza for you. I know you are thinking cauliflower pizza sounds disgusting but trust me it’s far from what you think.The best part is that you don’t need any flour and it’s not going to cost you lots of money to make this frugal pizza in a flash.

When I am on Facebook, particularly my Canadian Budget Binder and The Free Recipe Depot pages I see recipes in  my news feed all the time and many of my fans like and share recipes as well.

The other day one of my fans and I can’t remember who mentioned or liked this cauliflower pizza recipe and I knew I just had to make it.

I thought it was a brilliant idea since we had a great big bowl of cauliflower mash in the refrigerator that my wife and I made the previous day instead of mashed potatoes.

Her sister came around with a head of cauliflower that they weren’t going to use up on time and asked if we wanted it since she knows how much we love our vegetables and we gladly took it.

I guess cauliflower mash is the new rage in the fitness scene so you can eliminate the starchy potato and replace with mashed vegetables that actually taste like mashed potatoes. You don’t feel you are missing a thing.

I was a skeptic at first but I am now a changed man. My wife was the one who mentioned the cauliflower mash because she had noticed that more people who are into fitness or watching their food intake are switching to sweet potatoes, cauliflower mash, sautéed kale and collard greens etc.

Coming from a family in the UK who used potatoes all the time it was a welcoming change but it was nice to know that I can substitute cauliflower for potatoes and not really notice a difference.

Cauliflower pizza crust recipe

 

What I did notice was the cauliflower mash is just a bit more wet over the traditional mashed potatoes.

For this reason I put the cauliflower back in the pot with no water and let it boil off any excess water on the florets after draining them so they are fork tender but not holding any more water than they need to before I mashed them in the food processor.

I tried to mash them with my hand masher but it just wasn’t working out the way I wanted it too. I wanted a smooth mashed cauliflower.

The pizza crust needed to pop with flavour in this recipe because of how bland cauliflower can be so I aimed to create a basil cauliflower pizza crust to give it some pizzazz so we aren’t always eating the same things.

I added some garlic, salt and my homemade basil pesto to the food processor and I only did that to make the crust of this cauliflower pizza taste like it was loaded with flavour. Like mashed potatoes cauliflower mash needs lots of flavour so adding in the herbs really made a huge impact on the overall taste of this recipe.

I wasn’t sure from the recipe when I first noticed it whether they crust was hard enough to actually eat this like a slice of pizza. When I took my pan of baked cauliflower pizza from the oven parts of it were crispy but not enough that I could hold a slice in my hand and brag to you how cool it was to eat pizza made of cauliflower.

The bottom of the slices were browned but not crispy enough although I had no problem removing slices from the pan as you can see in the photo.

What I will suggest and what I will try for next time if you want a crispy cauliflower pizza crust is to put the mashed cauliflower in a cheese cloth and just wring out the water or let it sit over night covered so the water is removed and you are left with a dry cauliflower mixture. This is the only reason I can think of why this did not give me a hand-held crust.

Once you add in your pesto you can roll it into a ball then onto your heated baking stone or baking tray as if it were a pizza dough.

I don’t remember who or where the recipe came from but I did it off the top of my head as I did not save the recipe.

I figured I’d remember it which is not a way that I would suggest you to learn and cook. You need to get the full recipe because it’s a recipe that someone has tested and are hoping you try. If you are out there and invented this, hats off to you as it was delicious.

I cooked the cauliflower pizza just until it was browned on the top and as crispy as I could get it without burning it.

The texture of the pizza was crispy around the top and outside but soft in the middle. Biting into the cauliflower pizza almost reminded me of a creamy ricotta cheese with basil pesto blended in.

In a way it is almost like a thin cauliflower lasagna or a cauliflower cottage pie although I could have sworn in the photo of the original recipe it looked as if they were eating this pizza by hand.

I don’t know how they were able to do that but like I mentioned above you would have to make certain you remove as much liquid from the cauliflower as possible. I love it the way that it turned our for me and I hope you do as well.

I think you will know what I am talking about once you try this recipe for yourself. Once the pizza was done I let it rest for about 10 minutes before I sliced it up into large square slices.

I made a nice fennel, carrot, onion, cucumber, radish and feta salad for on the side with a lime, ginger, garlic, sesame dressing that I made and am addicted to when it comes to eating a salad.

 

4.7 from 3 reviews
Baked Loaded Cauliflower Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Cauliflower Pizza
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • I head of Cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup of basil pesto
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water add the cauliflower florets that you chop and clean.
  2. Boil the cauliflower until fork tender, drain and then put back in the pot to air dry with the residual heat in the pot for a few minutes
  3. Add the cauliflower to a food processor and blend with 3 cloves of minced garlic and the cup of basil pesto
  4. (To make a crisper crust do the below otherwise you can use from food processor)
  5. Add the mashed potato to a cheese cloth and wring out all of the excess water or leave over night with something heavy over top to drain the water from the cheesecloth.
  6. On a baking sheet spray with cooking spray then add a ½ inch thick layer of the cauliflower mixture. You can even make it thicker if you like, it's up to you.
  7. Add a layer of your sliced mushrooms
  8. Add a layer of your chopped tomatoes
  9. Add a layer of your red onion
  10. Add your extra virgin olive oil on top of the pizza
  11. Top with your shredded mozzarella
  12. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until golden brown
  13. Let sit for a few minutes then slice and put on plate with your spatula
  14. Serve with a side salad of your choice

 baked-caulifloer-pizza

There you have my weekly masterpiece and although it’s not a traditional homemade pizza like what I would normally make it’s certainly an alternative to make for change in your meal plan.

Sometimes eating the same things all the time gets boring so if you want to switch things up don’t be afraid because you may never know what you will come up with.

Who knew you could make a Baked Loaded Cauliflower Pizza? I certainly would never have guessed it.

What foods have you used against the norm to create an amazing recipe?

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Mr.CBB’s crispy baked avocado fries with dip

Mr.CBB's-baked-crispy-avocado-fries-with-dip-wm

Anything Is Possible With Your Imagination

Of course you can make beautiful green fries with an avocado, if you use your imagination. I am a huge fan of the avocado and try and scoop them up when they go on sale at the grocery store. My homemade guacamole dip is a popular tangy party dip around our house and often gets top priority when we throw a get-together for our friends.

What is an avocado?

English: Avocados (Persea americana) Français ...

English: Avocados (Persea americana) Français : Avocats (Persea americana) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are not familiar with the avocado they are native to Central Mexico where they grow in abundance and also known as an “alligator pear”. Cultivated in Mediterranean and tropical climates the avocado boasts a green flesh that has a texture similar to butter.

You can even grow avocado from the unrefrigerated pit indoors which will sprout but will not produce fruit, rather a decorative tree that you can prune. Grafting from a fruit bearing tree may help speed up the maturity process of an avocado tree.

If you want a fruit bearing tree you would have to have more than one tree to cultivate for cross-pollination to happen, as well as plenty of sun. This process may take many years. Either way, just to say you have an avocado tree at home is something to brag about, at least I think so. You can read all about it at the Wikipedia page link above if you fancy growing an avocado tree.

We tend to buy avocados hard as you will find they ripen quite easily from the point of being picked to landing in your favourite avocado recipe. Some people enjoy avocado slices as is or on a sandwich. I’ve even made an avocado pudding by adding a sweetener of sorts such as honey and cocoa powder.

Cooking with avocado is great if you want to create a baked vegetarian snack such as the avocado fries. You can easily use egg whites if you don’t prefer whole eggs or coat the avocado with a sweet and sour mixture with mustard, honey and a dash of water, then coat it in your dry ingredients. The possibilities are endless but you can’t be afraid to fail in the kitchen or you will never try.

When I see people buy guacamole or hummus dip or any dip for that matter I really want to tell them it’s so easy to make on your own. I know, we’ve been there done that and it wasn’t until we realized that it’s not as hard as it seems. The best part is that it won’t cost you as much money as it would if you purchase it conveniently ready for you at the grocery store. The best part about being in the kitchen is experimenting and testing out new foods so you too can create dishes that your friends beg for when they come around.

Granted I first saw the idea of avocado fries on Facebook and for the life of me I can’t remember where. I decided to go ahead and create my own baked avocado fries recipe and I’m glad I did because they turned out better than expected. Now you can go ahead and deep fry these beauties if you like but they won’t be the healthy avocado recipe that you might be looking for any longer.

Making avocado fries is not rocket science and many people have already chimed in on this tasty little snack that would be perfect for any party. The best time is when the avocado is in season and you can pick them up for a decent price. Unless of course you are like my friend Pauline who lives in Guatemala and can get beautiful avocados reasonably priced all year-long. If you want a guacamole recipe simple as can be Pauline also has her own guacamole dip which I even put to the test and it tastes great.

Baked avocado fries

So these avocado fries are simple to make so take a chance and try this recipe today. All I did was crack and mix up the eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl I added the flour and a bit of salt and pepper then finally a bowl with the seasoned breadcrumbs. It’s the breadcrumbs where I add all my personal spice flavours, and so can you.

Sometimes I make homemade breadcrumbs which are dead easy to make by whizzing day-old bread in the food processor but I haven’t made any bread since my homemade olive bread. Since the wife is on a low-gi diet bread is not a big staple in our house these days. We bought a can of breadcrumbs just to have on hand in our pantry. If you are a fan of the Japanese breadcrumbs called Panko by all means scoop a bag or box of them up as they will give this recipe a very crunchy texture, similar to if you like baked crispy fries.

baked-avocado-fries

I added all my spices to the breadcrumbs then started the breading process. Dip your 1/2 inch cut wedge of avocado in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg mixture, roll in the breadcrumbs and lay it on a sheet pan that is coated in melted coconut and extra virgin olive oil. Some people like to spray the top with a homemade olive oil spray as well but I didn’t.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes turning so they get golden brown on each side. The last few minutes I blast them on a high temperature to crisp them up even more but you MUST pay attention not to burn them. Take them out from the oven, season with salt if you like and sit them on a paper towel to let any grease drain from them.

I served my avocado fries with a homemade dip which consists of plain Greek yogurt, fresh chives, salt, pepper, lime juice, lime peel, 2 bulbs of roasted garlic. I mixed it all together and let it sit overnight to let all the flavours come together. Next on my recipe creation list will be making a stuffed avocado recipe which seems easy enough. The only problem is deciding what to stuff my avocado with.

What other avocado recipes do you make?

Mr.CBB's-Crispy-Avocado-Fries

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 30-35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15-20 minutes baked in oven
  • Serving Size: Approximately 15 wedges for 3 people

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados (even a bit firm is good as well so they are not too mushy) slice into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of breadcrumbs

Seasoning for breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Directions

  • Slice your avocado into 1/2 inch wedges
  • Dip the wedge into the flour then shake off the excess flour
  • Dip it into the egg mixture
  • Dip it into the breadcrumbs and then place on a greased baking sheet with coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes turning to brown them
  • Let drain on paper towel and season with salt if you desire

Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 heads of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Tin foil
  • 1 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Grated peel of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cut a thin layer off the top of your garlic to expose the bulbs
  • Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on each one while they sit inside a large piece of tinfoil
  • Top each bulb with a sprinkle of salt, fold the tin foil and bake at 350  degrees on a baking sheet until tender, then let cool
  • When the garlic is cool, squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl
  • Add in all the remaining ingredients and mix
  • Refrigerate over night for best results

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Mr. CBB’s mixed fruit custard crisp squares

Mr.CBB's-Mixed-Fruit-Custard-Crisp-Squares

Blasts Of Fruit Flavour 

A piece of my mixed fruit custard crisp and you will know why I wanted to spruce up the typical crisp that we’ve all come to love. When I think of the sounds of summer, the birds chirping, the children laughing and the sunshine in the mornings I think of simplicity. I wanted a simple yet elegant dessert that was bursting with flavour and full of bright colours to serve as a lovely finish to a meal.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I had no idea if this creation would turn out so it was mostly a waiting game. To my surprise it turned out better than expected but I learned what I would do different the next time. We have a couple of bags of frozen mixed fruit in our freezer that needed using up and plenty of rhubarb from our garden. I decided to mix a bag of frozen fruit which included peaches, kiwi, pears and cantaloupe along with fresh rhubarb and cherries into this dessert.

What I learned about this dessert was not to use fruit with all the juices, just use the fruit. When you layer your fruit in the bottom of your baking dish try your best to keep the fruit dry. The reason is that the fruit will expel plenty of juice during the cooking process. I noticed when I took my first square out from the baking dish that there was lots of juice. I ended up having to tip the excess juice out of the pan into a bowl to spoon around the dessert if desired.

I’ve kept this recipe simple for the easy days of summer where you would rather be outside with your friends and not in the kitchen baking. For the custard I used a standard custard recipe from Delia Smith but for this one the dairy consisted of coconut milk, evaporated milk and 2% milk. The instructions to prepare the custard are the same and turned out very creamy with a hint of coconut flavour. My idea was to have a nice thick layer of custard over top the baked fruit.

The topping is standard like many other crisp dessert recipes including  butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, pure vanilla and freshly ground nutmeg. I didn’t add much sugar to the fruit as there is enough natural sugars in the fruit already plus I’ve added sugar to the crisp topping which is more than enough for this mixed fruit custard treat.

Once I took the pan from the oven I let it cool down first followed by refrigeration over night so the custard, fruit and topping had a chance to come together. It also made it easier to cut into squares. I used a spatula to scoop out the square very carefully onto the serving dish.

I enjoyed this recipe as did our friends so I think I might try a blueberry crisp with a layer of custard or even a rhubarb cherry custard crisp to keep the fruit flavours simple the next time around.

What are your favourite crisps to make? 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes including custard
  • Baking time: 30 minutes or until topping is browned
  • Serving Size: 6 large servings
  • Oven temp: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of mixed frozen fruit defrosted and the juice drained away
  • 2 cups of fresh rhubarb sliced in small chunks
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped cherries in halves
  • Mix all the fruit in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Custard

  • 1 can of coconut milk 398 ml
  • 1 can of evaporated milk  370 ml
  • 1/2 cup of 2% milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup of rolled instant oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 flour
  • 1 cup chilled butter + 2 tablespoons for top
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

fruit-custard-crisp-ready-for-oven

Directions:

  • In a bowl separate your egg yolks from your egg whites.
  • Put your evaporated milk, 2% milk and coconut cream in a small pot or sauce pan along with the vanilla and heat on medium.
  • While your milk  is heating in another bowl add the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and whisk
  • Take the milk off the stove when it is hot and with the whisk in one hand whisk the egg yolk mixture and slowly start adding the hot milk. I add a little bit at a time so the hot mixture doesn’t curdle the egg. Then I add all the rest of the egg yolks constantly whisking the mixture then put it back on the stove immediately.
  • Keep the custard mixture on a low heat mixing until it becomes a thick custard at the simmering point (don’t walk away) keep whisking.
  • Pour the custard in a bowl once it had thickened

Crisp Topping Directions

  • Add the flour, brown sugar, oats, nutmeg and cinnamon into a food processor and whiz around until combined
  • Cut your chilled butter into pieces and rub into the mix until it becomes crumbly and the size of kidney beans or peas.

Putting it all together

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In an 8×11 deep dish layer your fruit that you’ve mixed together on the bottom, then layer all the custard on top, then finish with the crisp topping.
  • Top the crisp with a few bits of butter using the extra 2 tablespoons right on top.
  • Put in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until the top has browned and is bubbly.
  • Cool then refrigerate overnight for best results before cutting into squares
  • The squares will be soft so take caution when removing them from the dish

I hope you enjoy this summer fresh mixed fruit custard crisp recipe and that you can share it with your family and friends at your next dinner party or gathering.

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