New Recipes for the Recipe Book: May

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How great is Pinterest?! This is my go-to website for finding recipes for everything. I have a few recipe books that I use occasionally, but nothing beats being able to whip out my phone or a tablet, go onto Pinterest, and type in anything that pertains to the food I’m trying to make and then so many recipes come up. I have literally just typed in “ground beef dinner recipes” and different dinner recipes that include ground beef will pop up. The problem is that I never know if it is a good recipe or not. This is why I started 2 boards on my Pinterest. One is called “Recipes to Try” where I save all those yummy looking recipes I want to one day, in the next 50 years, try out. The other board is called “Recipe Book” and this is where I have saved all of the recipes I have tried, the family enjoys eating, and we are adding to our recipe book.

Moving forward, I’m going to include you on this food journey too! Any new recipes I try in a month and we enjoy, I will be including in a monthly blog. I try to include one new recipe a week for dinner, and I also try lots of snack food recipes since the boys are sometimes picky and snack foods are tough with allergies at school. Below are the recipes we have tried in May and most of us, if not all of us, have enjoyed eating. I do modify recipes and ingredients in the recipes. The recipes I am including are my modified versions and how I made them. I have included a link to the original recipe at the end of each recipe section so you can check out the original post as well.

I also want to preface this entire post since I have 3 different cake recipes in this post. When I make cakes, my goal is to use as little dishes and measuring cups/spoons as possible. I will use the same set of measuring items for all dry ingredients and a set for the wet ingredients, and will use the same measuring cup to measure flour and sugar if need be. To use one bowl, I will usually mix the dry ingredients in first, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the bowl. You can still beat the eggs in the bowl first before mixing all of the ingredients together in the whole bowl. The strawberry cake recipe does call for an extra step when making the cake, so check the notes to see how I still used one bowl for this.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did! If you make them, let me know in the comments!

Zucchini Lasagna

We were having dinner with family and they follow the keto diet so we decided to try making a lasagna, but instead of sheets of pasta, we used grilled zucchini and I have to say it was freaking delicious! I am now looking forward to getting fresh zucchini from the garden to make this recipe again and try freezing it for freezer meals!


Zucchini Layer:

  • 5 medium zucchinis (2 pounds total weight)
  • Olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ garlic powder

Beef Sauce Layer:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 796mL/28 fl. oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • herbs/spices; season to taste (I used basil, oregano, chili powder, pepper, and salt)

Ricotta Layer:

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup chopped basil


  • 8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Grill the Zucchini Slices:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and heat your grill to medium heat. (I used my panini pan from Kitchen Aid.)
    Slice the zucchinis lengthwise, into ¼-inch thick strips. (I used a mandolin for this to make slicing easy)
  2. Coat the zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. (I just put olive oil in a Pyrex dish and coated the zucchini slices in that before sprinkling the salt, pepper and garlic powder.)
  3. Grill the zucchini slices in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want them to be golden but still firm. Spread them on a clean kitchen towel to soak up moisture.

Cook the Beef/Make the Sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent/clear.
  2. Add the meat and the minced garlic. ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Cook the ground beef until the meat is no longer raw using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. This takes about 5 minutes. Add the spices/herbs to the grease in the pot. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Drain into a colander, then return the meat to the pot and mix in the can of crushed tomatoes. Season to taste. Turn the heat off and set aside.

Prepare the Ricotta Layer:

  1. Add the ricotta, eggs, basil, and the remaining salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Mix together using a fork.

Assemble the lasagna:

  1. Spread enough of the beef sauce around the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish to coat the bottom.
  2. Top the sauce with a layer of zucchini, then a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the meat sauce mixture, and a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  3. Repeat, arranging the zucchini slices in the opposite direction: zucchini, ⅓ ricotta, ⅓ meat sauce mixture, ⅓ mozzarella.
  4. Repeat one last time, adding one extra layer of zucchini: zucchini, ricotta, meat sauce mixture, more zucchini, and mozzarella.

Bake the lasagna:

  1. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden; about 30 minutes. You can finish by broiling for 1-2 minutes on high to brown the cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


  • When you are grilling the zucchini, you want to still keep the zucchini firm by doing a quick grill on both sides, but if you over grill a few pieces don’t panic. It still tastes great!
  • I made my own meat sauce and did not follow the recipe from the website. I will tell your my recipe for my meat sauce some day when I actually pay attention to what ingredients I use and how much of each. I just wing it most times and add spices and herbs until it tastes just right.
  • The original recipe says to not use the end pieces of the zucchini, but I enjoyed having these in the lasagna.

The original recipe can be found at Healthy Recipes.

Strawberry Cake & Strawberry Icing

With Jordanna being my first girl, I wanted to make her a pink cake. I initially made this recipe the weekend before the family birthday party and intended to freeze it. We all know how hectic is can be in the days before an event happens at your house and I was trying to be ahead of the game this time. I was trying to be all healthy and have no added crap in the cake so I did not add the red food colouring to the cake thinking that the strawberries would turn it a little pink. Yea…….no. That did not work at all. So I just froze the cakes to use another time, and made the recipe again using the food colouring. Since my cake pans were dirty, I decided to make them into cupcakes and I literally cannot stress enough how freaking delicious those cupcakes were! My mouth is watering thinking about them right now. So with the strawberry cake recipe being a keeper we had to make more and make them pink for Jordanna’s birthday. The Thursday before the party weekend is when I made 7 cakes to ensure I had enough cakes to make the 2 birthday caked we needed for that weekend. Jonathan’s cake had a strawberry layer in it and Jordanna’s whole cake was the strawberry cake with the strawberry icing.
Also, when I say the cupcakes were delicious, I’m not sure they had anything on the strawberry icing. This is THE most delicious icing I have ever had in my life! So naturally I need to share the recipe with everyone!


For the Strawberry Puree:

  • 12 strawberries, fresh or frozen (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Cake:

  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Red food colouring, 15-20 drops

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 7 cups icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • Red food colouring (optional)


Strawberry Puree:

  1. Hull/cut the tops off of the strawberries if using fresh strawberries.
  2. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth or only tiny chunks remain.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Liberally grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan or two 8 inch circular cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixer bowl, stir together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the cubed butter and mix until it looks like coarse, moist crumbs.
  5. Add the eggs, milk, strawberry puree, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
  6. Add in food colouring until you reach the desired colour. The colour will intensify when it bakes. I used 15 drops of red food colouring.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans if using the two 8 inch cake pans or pour the whole bowl into the 9×13 inch cake pan.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean.
  9. Let it rest for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Let the cake(s) cool completely before icing the cake or the icing will melt off.


  1. Place the butter in a large mixer bowl and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix until just combined.
  3. Slowly beat in the icing/confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time. Make sure the sugar in incorporated each time before adding the next cup of sugar.
  4. Add the strawberry puree. Mix until well combined.
  5. Beat in the food colouring if using.

Enjoy decorating your cake! You can also watch the video to see how to bake the cake, and you can also watch how I assembled and decorated Jordanna’s cake.


  • The recipe creates enough icing to cover a two tier cake and possibly more!
  • The toothpick test is simply just sticking a toothpick into your baked cake. If it comes out clear or with dry crumbs on it then the cake is done. If the toothpick has any wet batter left on it, then the cakes need to go back in the oven. I would start with baking it for 5 minutes at a time until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • I also mixed the cake by hand using a butter knife to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You could probably use a pastry knife for this step too if you have one. If you do not have a stand mixer, don’t worry! Use some elbow grease and you can do it!
  • You can freeze the cake for up to 6 months. I just double wrapped it in saran wrap. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before you want to use the cake.
  • You can freeze the icing in an air tight container for up to 3 months (so Google says). Thaw in the fridge overnight and rewhip it before using. I have thawed it without rewhipping it and it was fine and tasted amazing. So if there’s sitting water, then rewhip, if not then you’re fine.

The unmodified recipe can be found at Kleinworth & Co. Taste of the Frontier.

Chocolate Cake

I do not like chocolate cake. I never have…..until I found a recipe like this one. The thing I did not like about chocolate cake was that almost every single one I had ever had was on the dryer side for cakes. Then again I also just wasn’t a huge fan of the overall flavour of chocolate flavoured food, except for actual chocolate. This style of recipe was a game changer for me. I found a recipe like this about 8 years ago on Pinterest and then lost it. Now that I have found this one, I am saving it in so many places so I will never lose it again. I fully encourage you to try baking this cake! I do want to note I have not tried to make the icing in the recipe so I am not including it here, because I cannot encourage you to try what I have not tried myself. If and when I do try it, if it is as delicious as the cake, I will include it in the “Recipe” section of the website.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan or two 9 inch circular cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Sift in (if you have a sifter) the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Stir in the boiling water and mix until smooth.
  6. Divide the batter between the cake pans if using the two 9 inch cake pans or pour the whole bowl of batter into the 9×13 inch cake pan.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. Let the cake cool completely before icing your cake or the icing will melt off the cake.


  • It may seem weird to add the boiling water at the end but trust the process! It will be a soupy mess but this is what makes the cake so delicious!

The unmodified recipe is from Creations by Kara.

Vanilla Cake & Vanilla Icing

I chose this recipe because the picture looked delicious. I have to say that the process for making this cake made me angry at first because I was not prepared to do the process of creating a hot mixture. I was short on time, children were getting hungry and now suddenly I had extra steps in preparing the cake batter. I was not prepared for that and did not efficiently start the process of this cake, so it made me angry. Then the epiphany happened. The process for making this cake is essentially just like the chocolate cake recipe I fell in love with. I fell in love with the chocolate cake because it was moist and let me tell you, this cake does not disappoint! It is just as delicious as the other cakes and FULL of moisture! No dry homemade cakes in this house anymore! I also used this icing to decorate Jonathan’s cake and it was delicious as well. I have also rewritten this recipe and the instructions in a more “Kelsey approved”, efficient way. I hope you enjoy it!



  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 3 tablespoons milk



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan or two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes in the fridge, stirring the mixture in the fridge every 5 minutes or so.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Once the wet mixture has completely cooled, add the oil and vanilla extract. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the eggs into the bowl, beat the eggs, and then mix the ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans if using the circular cake pans, or pour the batter into the 9×13 inch cake pan.
  6. Bake the cake for 20-30 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clear.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely before decorating the cake with icing or else the icing will melt off the cake.


  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the icing/confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time, ensuring the sugar is completely incorporated before adding the next cup.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla extract. If your icing is too thick, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time. If your icing becomes too thin, add more icing/confectioner’s sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.


  • My normal go-to when baking a cake is to start measuring out the dry ingredients or measuring out the ingredients in the order it is listed in a recipe. The original recipe does list the dry ingredients first, but I caution you. Please start with the step where you are heating up the water and sugar! It takes the most time; it takes a while to dissolve the sugar and it take 20+ minutes for it to cool back down. So if you are following the recipe from the website, start with the saucepan step please!
  • Another thing is to make sure you’re stirring the mixture in the fridge because it will form a cooled butter layer on the top and this will slow down the cooling process.
  • I was a tad impatient when waiting for the mixture to cool back down. it was still warm when I added it to my cake ingredients. However, I have baked enough that there is a cool step to ensure you do not end up with scrambled eggs from adding hot liquid. First, pour about a tablespoon at a time of the hot liquid into the bowl with the beaten eggs and mix together. Add another tablespoon and mix together. Repeat one or two more times. This will slowly increase the temperature of the eggs without making scrambled eggs. Then I added the eggs to the bowl of ingredients BEFORE adding the warm liquid mixture. I mixed the ingredients together until it was half incorporated and so the eggs were mixed in with other ingredients. This further ensures that when the warm liquid is added, we do not end up with scrambled eggs. It works and we did not end up with scrambled eggs.
  • Yes the batter is going to be soupy, but you need to trust the process. This is how we end up with high moisture, delicious cakes!

The unmodified recipe is from The Novice Chef Blog.

Banana Apple Oat Muffins

I had so many bananas I needed to use and I had purchased apple sauce to feed to Jordanna and she did NOT want it, so I wanted to use it up before it went bad. This recipe was a pleasant find on Pinterest and used my very ripe bananas and applesauce. I did modify the original recipe so it does not include flour. I was looking for a way to take out the all-purpose flour in some recipes to try to make a healthier snack. These are great for snacks at school for the kids, picnics, car rides, and hikes.


  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup applesauce (unsweetened if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1½ cups oat flour *see notes*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 count muffin tin with muffin cups. Silicone muffin cups are great!
  2. In a big bowl, mash the bananas using a fork.
  3. Add the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and honey. Mix well with the fork until combined.
  4. Add the oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
  5. Divide the batter between the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan. Let the muffins cool for at least 10 minutes before taking them out of the silicone muffin cups. If the muffin is coming apart, it is not cooled down enough.


  • *Oat Flour* To make oat flour, I just processed the oatmeal in a food processor. You want to end up with 1½ cups of the flour in the end so this might take about 2 cups of oatmeal or more.
  • Silicone muffin cups are a great way to have reusable muffin cups. The one trick with them is that you need to wait for the muffins or cupcakes to cool down before removing them from the cups or else they will stick and fall apart. Allowing the muffins to sweat in the cups is what will release them from the cups. Then they can firm back up on a wire cooling rack, not that they actually become soggy.
  • This is a very fibrous muffin and would be great for snacks at school, before or after sports and school sport days, hikes, adventure days, and picnics. All the kids loved these!

The unmodified recipe is from This Mama Loves. I did film a video of me making the original version with a reduced amount of sugar. I used ¼ cup of sugar instead of the ¾ cup called for in the recipe. Sugar does help with keeping the end result moist so I don’t know what the muffin texture would be if you took the sugar completely out. I intend on making a new video of this version of the recipe since it is so good!

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