The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.

 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!

 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Avacado Chickpea and Feta Cheese Salad

I love Avacado, Chick peas and Feta cheese!  

My husband detests Avacado with Chick peas a close second so I had to figure out how much of each ingredient to use for just one person (me!)

Basically I just started by putting in as many chickpeas as I thought I would like, then I added an equal amount of feta cheese. Then one avacado did the trick! For green onion, just put in as much as you think you would like! 

I've given ingredient portions as best I could for those who like to follow a recipe but honestly, just play with it! However please don't leave out or substitute one of the key ingredients. 

I was horrified to see comments on the original recipe such as "I hate avacado, I'll just leave that out" and "Ugh no crunchy chickpeas and I don't like feta so what else can I use instead?" Ummm okay you don't have this salad anymore, you've got chickpeas and feta or avacado all by its lonesome. 

It's kind of all about the contrasts between the soft avacado, the slightly crunchy chickpeas and the salty feta cheese! Okay off my soapbox - here's the recipe.

  • 1/3 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocados, diced
  • 1Tbsp. cup chopped fresh parsley (or fresh Cilantro)
  • 1/2 - 1 green onion,  sliced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. 
  2. Using 2 large spoons, stir gently to combine, making sure not to mash the avocadoes and feta.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Carmelized Onions the Easy Way

Who doesn't love Carmelized Onions? You can use them on top of meatloaf. You can make French Onion Soup with them. 

There are many ways to enjoy Carmelized Onions. But I hate standing at the stove for hours, making sure they don't burn but have reached that yummy sweetness. 

So I use the Slow Cooker method. It is so easy and the result is amazing. Here's how to do it.

I like to do a whole bag of onions so that's about 10 onions. 

You also need 6 Tbsp. of melted butter and 1 tsp of salt (I like to use Sea Salt)

Peel the onions and slice them into thin pieces. If the onion is large cut it in half first then slice. 

Put the sliced onions in your slow cooker. 

Add 1 tsp salt (I use Sea Salt) and 6 Tbsp melted butter. 

Mix well.

Turn your Slow Cooker to LOW and let it go for 8 to 10 hours. Check the onions every so often and give them a stir. 

French Onion Soup with Carmelized Onions

When they are done (nicely browned and with juice) you can freeze them in small quantities for later use or start cooking with them right away. I like to freeze them with a bit of juice in each container but some people like to freeze the juice separately.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Beef Carbonnade in Beer and Mushroom Sauce

Yesterday I decided to make something different from our usual dinner fare. I found a recipe for Creamy Beef Carbonnade and decided to try it. As usual I made several changes, the main one being that I added a Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Hubs and I loved my version and it will definitely be added to my Monthly Rotations. The amounts below made enough for 4 to 6 servings.

1 1/2 lb (750 g) sirloin tip cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste. I used Fleur de Sel , about 3/4 tsp.
3 tbsp (45 mL) or more butter
1/3 cup (80 mL or 45 grams) pancetta, finely diced
8 shallots, peeled and halved OR 2 green onions plus 1 tsp dried shallots
3 tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
1 12-oz (341-mL) dark Belgium beer
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 leaves sage
½ tsp. marjoram or if fresh – 3 stalks
1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce 
2 cups Bow Tie pasta uncooked 

Fleur de Sel and Dried Shallots (because I can't get fresh)
Mushroom Sauce:
4 Crimini mushrooms, 6 mini-bella mushrooms, 8 white mushrooms, washed and cut into quarters (cut the mini-bella in halves)
¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% cream


In a sauté pan, brown half the beef cubes in the butter over medium-high heat. Set aside in a bowl and repeat with the rest of the meat. Add salt and pepper. Set aside in the bowl. 

In the same pot, brown the pancetta, green onions and shallots for a few minutes over medium heat, adding butter if necessary.

Deglaze with maple syrup and vinegar. Add the beer, stock, garlic, bay leaves, sage and Worcestershire sauce.
Return the beef cubes to the pot and bring to heat. Add mixture to slow cooker or casserole dish, depending on how you plan to cook it.

Oven Method:
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Roast in the oven for 2 hours or more, until the meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef cubes and set them aside in a bowl.
Slow Cooker Method:
Cook in slow cooker on LOW for 4 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef cubes and set them aside in a bowl.
Make the mushroom sauce:
Saute the chunked mushrooms in hot butter or margarine until slightly tender but not cooked completely. Add more marjoram (1/4 tsp), salt and pepper. 

Make a roux with butter or margarine and equal amount of flour. Slowly add about 3 cups of the cooking juices and stir until they thicken slightly. Add the cream and reduce to the desired consistency. Add the mushrooms. If the sauce is too runny you can use Veloutine to thicken it. Veloutine comes in dark or white, depending on what kind of sauce you are making. 

Turn off the heat, add the beef cubes to the sauce and bring to heat. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes then drain.
Serve the Carbonnade with Bow Tie pasta and roasted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips and butternut squash)

Original Recipe at

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Easy-Peasy Lemon Chicken

Many of you know how much I love chicken. I'm constantly amazed at how many different ways there are to cook this versatile meat.

Tonight I wanted to use up some frozen chicken thighs so I grabbed a recipe I saved to Evernote months ago, tweaked it a bit and made this yummy dish. 

Here's what you need:

6 chicken boneless thighs or 4 boneless breasts
1 lemon sliced into rounds
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tsp of fresh marjoram, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Fleur de Sel or Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp pepper (or more to taste)

Slice lemons, chop garlic
What to do:

Lightly oil the bottom of a small casserole dish. Place lemon slices on bottom of dish, then 2 sprigs of Rosemary. Add 1 of the sliced garlic cloves. 

Rinse the chicken then place on top of the lemon and Rosemary. If using boneless thighs fold them over so they are not thin. 

Place 1 sprig of Rosemary on top of the chicken, add the majoram and the rest of the garlic then sprinkle the salt and pepper over top. Drizzle the olive oil over all the chicken pieces. 

Cover and bake in pre-heated 350' oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on whether you used thighs or breasts. 
Lay lemon slices, rosemary and 1//2 the garlic in the casserole dish

Chicken thighs, folded, go on top

Add more Rosemary and the rest of the garlic

Time for olive oil, marjoram, pepper and salt. I used Fleur de Sel but you can use Kosher Salt if you wish

Ready for the oven

Serve with a salad and Carrots for a yummy easy-to-make supper!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gathering and Drying Herbs for the Winter

 One of the things I love is growing my own herbs to use when I'm cooking.

Since frost is being called for soon in our area, I went to my herb garden yesterday and cut the herbs I want to dry.

Since I am on Periscope I did a live broadcast of gathering my herbs and then bundling and hanging them. You can find me there as @LorineMS or OliveTreeGenealogy if you want to follow me for more live broadcasts.

The two short videos are now online on my OliveTreeGenealogy YouTube Channel if you want to take a peek.

Gathering my herbs before the frost!

Hanging the herbs I just gathered

So far I've finished my Sage, Rosemary, Marjoram and Oregano. Still to go - Thyme, Parsley and Chives! I didn't grow as many herbs this year but I'm happy with my harvest.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
Holy cow, talk about delicious! I adapted these from an online recipe and my 8 and 10 year old grandsons loved them. So did my husband. So did I! We smothered them with sour cream on the side and dug in.

I'm afraid I don't have any photos of the process but it's super easy. Here's what you need:

1 spaghetti squash for every two people. I cooked 2 so my recipe below is for 2 squash. 
1 cup of salsa (mild, medium or hot - your choice)
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, rough chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 19-oz. can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen Peaches and Cream Corn
1 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil + a bit more
1 tsp. feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp. of Greek Feta & Oregano Salad Dressing
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. Cumin
1-2 tsp. Cilantro (or 1 tsp. fresh)
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Table Salt
 pepper to taste

Here's what you do:

1. Wash the squash then pierce all over with a sharp knife. Microwave for about 5 minutes until the squash is easily sliced, then slice each in half lengthwise. You can see how I prepped the squash on my Savory Butternut Squash Soup recipe.

2. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy loose inside of the squash and place them, cut side up, on a foil lined baking tray. 

Filled and ready for the oven
3. Use a basting brush to brush the exposed squash edible flesh with about 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Kosher salt evenly distributed on all 4 halves. Now turn the squash over and place in a 375' oven to roast for about 45 minutes. Check the squash after 30 minutes to see if it is cooked. You need to be able to insert a knife into the flesh easily.

4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then carefully scoop out the long spaghetti-like strands with a fork. Set aside in a bowl for now.

8 year old grandson digs in
 While the squash was cooking you can make your filling.

1. Prepare your sweet peppers, onion, and tomato then saute in about 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a few minutes. You want to soften the onion and peppers slightly. 

2. Turn off heat and add the spices (table salt, cumin, cilantro, pepper). Stir well.

3. Add feta cheese and salad dressing and stir, then add the corn and black beans. Stir well then add the salsa and stir again. Bring back to heat and then remove from stove top.

10 year old slathers on the sour cream
 4. Now you can layer your fillings in the squash halves. You'll only have room for 3 layers of Corn-Black Bean mix, Squash, Corn-Black Bean mix. You will have squash left over as there just isn't room for it all. We fed our leftover to our pigs. If you don't have pigs you can create another supper with it such as my Healthy Kid Friendly Spaghetti Squash with Vegetable-Meat Meatballs over Spaghetti Noodles

5. When you have finished layering the squash halves, sprinkle 1- 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese on top. Try to distribute the cheese as evenly as possible.

6. Return to a 350' oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can broil the squash instead if you want to. I just set mine to bake for 5-7 minutes and created that yummy goodness you see above. 

7. Serve with sour cream on the side and enjoy!

Adapted from Making Thyme for Health

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chicken & Vegetable Meatloaf

Chicken & Vegetable Meatloaf
Who doesn't like meatloaf? It's such a wonderful comfort food on a cold day. 

My meatloaf pictured on the left is chock full of goodies - carrots, celery, garlic, onions and more.

It's a great way to fool kids into eating vegetables because you can puree the ingredients in a blender if you prefer rather than leave them chunky as I have.

Here's what you need:

* 2 packages of ground chicken (substitute ground beef if you like it better) total weight 900 grams (2 lbs)
* 1 stalk of celery finely diced
* 2 medium carrots, finely diced
* 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
* 1/2 to 1 onion finely diced. I used the white part of leeks (to equal about 1/4 of a cup) rather than onion as I had some in the fridge that needed to be used
* 1 heaping tsp. of Italian seasoning 
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 beaten egg
* 1 tsp. ground flax seed (optional)
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs. You can use Italian seasoned bread crumbs if you want but don't use Panko as it is too coarse for this recipe
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup ketchup. Use spicy ketchup if you like a little more zip to your meatloaf

Here's what you do:

Saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the Olive Oil for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened. Let that cool while you mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl. If you don't like chunky, forget the saute part and simply blend the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in your blender until the consistency suits you. Then add it to the other ingredients.

You should adjust the ketchup and bread crumbs to suit the texture of your meatloaf. If it's too dry add more ketchup. Too wet? Add more bread crumbs.

The flax seed adds fibre and those important Omegas.

Mix well and pack into a medium size loaf pan. Put a thin layer of ketchup on top, cover with tin foil and bake in a 350' oven for 90 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 to 10 minutes. You can add grated cheese to the top for those last 5 minutes if you wish. When cooked, drain the fat and place meatloaf on a nice platter to take to the table.

I like to serve my meatloaf with homemade Mac & Cheese and a green salad.