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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 6: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 6: Everything But the Kitchen Sink
This was by far hubs' and my favourite grilled cheese so far. This time I had a block of real cheddar cheese! I decided to use up the last of some Honey Ham (for hubs) and turkey (for me) and of course I had to add the obligatory avocado.

Along with those ingredients I pulled out eggs, fresh tomatoes, Tzatziki sauce, bacon, lime and salt and pepper. I almost added sweet red pepper but restrained myself. And as I almost always do, I set out a teaspoon of ground Flax Seed.

First I cooked the bacon. If you read my blog you know I cook my bacon in the oven. So easy and tastes great.

While the bacon was cooking I prepped my avocado by peeling and slicing it, then squeezing 1/4 of a lime over it, followed by a liberal salting. That's one of two things I love salt on - avocado and fresh tomato!

Setting the avocado aside, I sliced my tomato. Then I scooped out about 1/2 a cup of Tzatziki sauce and tossed in a teaspoon of Flax Seed. Mix that up and set it aside.

Prep the ingredients
I like to crack my eggs into separate dishes so I can inspect them for yukky things. I also break the yolk then too and I added some more Flax Seed - about 1/2 teaspoon for 2 eggs.

My next job was to slice the cheddar cheese and get out the slices of meat. I rarely eat processed meats but there's one brand I don't mind. It has zero Trans Fat so once or twice a year I treat myself to their thin-sliced turkey.  I don't eat ham but hubs loves it so he got Honey Ham.

I hesitated over that avocado - leave it sliced and place on the sandwich or mash it up and mix it with the Tzatziki. Either would be fine but this time I left it in slices.

A bit of margarine or butter on one side of each of 4 pieces of thick white bread, then butter side down into  a fry pan or griddle. But don't turn it on yet! Next spread the Tzatziki - Flax Seed mix on the unbuttered side. Start layering: whatever order you want, but I did the meat, avocado and tomato. I still hadn't started grilling the bread as I wanted to wait until the bacon was ready.

Tzatziki & Flax Seed
A minute before the bacon was done, I gently fried my eggs, flipped them and put the cheese on top to melt slightly. Then I added the egg to each sandwich, followed by bacon. At this point I started grilling the bread. When it was almost brown and toasty enough I put the slice of bread on top of the pile of goodies, then placed tin foil over it and a heavy pan on top of that. It's the only way I can squish the grilled cheese enough to manage it!

Then it's just a matter of watching the grilled cheese so the bread doesn't burn, but the insides are warmed up and the cheese is melted and gooey.

This was seriously so tasty! Hubs suggested we buy a food truck and call it "Say Cheese" then take it around so I can make Grilled Cheese sandwiches! That won't be happening.....

Eggs sprinkled with Flax Seed
Tzatziki spread on the bread on the griddle
 Add the meat
 Add avocado
 Add tomatoes
 Frying the eggs (with Flax seed)
 Eggs and cheese go on top of the sandwich bread
 You can't go wrong with bacon!
Put the top slice of grilled bread on top of the sandwich
 I weighed the sandwiches down with a heavy pot on top of tin foil
Sandwich ready to cut and eat!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 5: With Pickles & Zucchini

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 5: With Pickles & Zucchini
Yep, I'm still on a Grilled Cheese kick! This morning a friend sent me a recipe for Grilled Cheese with chopped Dill Pickles.

That got me thinking because I love pickles on hot dogs and hamburgers, and I always have one as a side with a regular Grilled Cheese.

So why not add my favourite pickle (not dills) to my grilled cheese? Then I guess I got a bit carried away because I sauteed some thinly slice zucchini, and pulled out some jars of my homemade Zucchini Relish and Sweet Chili Relish to add.......  but boy these were good!

Here's my list of ingredients:

  • Sliced processed cheese (that's right, I still have not bought a block of cheddar cheese!)
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese - it comes in a bag, pre-grated. I buy the kind that has both white and yellow cheese
  • Zucchini 
  • Sandwich Saver Pickles. I love these things! But feel free to use whatever pickle you prefer
  • Zucchini Relish (see recipe)
  • Kak's Chili Sauce (see recipe)
  • Horseradish Aioli
First I sauteed my zucchini slices until they were nice and golden brown. I love zucchini and the amount you see here were all for my sandwich.

Hubs is not fond of zucchini and since I was sneaking in my zucchini relish I figured I better omit the zucchini slices for his grilled cheese.

Next butter your bread on one side of each slice, and place half the slices, butter side down, on a griddle. You can start heating it now or you can wait until you've layered the whole sandwich and put the other half of the bread on top.

I used Flax bread because that is all we had in the fridge! (Today is grocery shopping day)

Then I placed cheese slices, pickles and on mine (on the left) I added sauteed zucchini. The pickles I used are sliced nice and thin. You can see them on the right

Now I started putting on all my yummy relishes - the Sweet Chili Sauce (hubs' grandmother Kak's recipe) and my Zucchini relish.

I also sprinkled about 1 tsp. of ground Flax seed (1/2 tsp. per sandwhich) on top of the relishes.

You can't feel any difference in texture with the addition of Flax seed and you probably won't even taste the flax seed but it does give a very faint nutty flavour.  And it is SO good for you!

This is when you add your grated cheddar cheese then top it with the other slices of bread (butter side up). When side one is toasted nicely, carefully turn the sandwiches over.

I used two spatulas to do this, one to turn and one to hold the bread together so the filling would not spill out. Squish the sandwich down and toast the second side.

When the sandwiches are a nice golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove from the griddle and enjoy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 4 - with Mac & Cheese and Bell Peppers

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 4 - with Mac & Cheese and Bell Peppers
Another yummy Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese Sandwich! If you want to see the first three I created, click on the topic Grilled Cheese

This one has an egg cooked inside a sweet bell pepper ring, topped with cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and my homemade macaroni and cheese. I would have added bacon and tomato if I'd had any!

 I put each pepper ring in a frypan with a bit of margarine and sauteed it slightly. I tossed the mushrooms in the same pan, but off to one side.

When the bell peppers were partially cooked, I added an egg to each, then broke the yolk. The egg ran out of the rings so next time I would lightly beat the eggs with a fork and pour them in until they reach the top of the pepper ring.

I turned the egg-bell pepper over to cook the yolk and topped each one with a piece of cheese. 

Meantime I heated leftover Macaroni and Cheese in my microwave. Next step was to start grilling the bread (one side only) When each half of the bread was golden brown, I started layering - egg and cheese, mushrooms, mac & cheese then topped it off with the other piece of bread for each sandwich.

I pressed the sandwich down to squish the ingredients and let it cook a bit more then carefully turned it over to grill the other piece of bread.

Cut in half and enjoy! You could have ketchup or salsa or sweet chili sauce as a dip for this scrumptious sandwich.

Saute the mushrooms and pepper rings
See how the eggs ran out the bottom of the pepper rings? That's why next time I'm beating the eggs first with a fork and then slowly adding. But even though they look messy they still tasted yummy!
Eggs have been flipped and cheese added. Once again I forgot to buy "real" cheddar cheese and had to make do with processed cheese slices.
Let the layering begin! Egg-Pepper-Cheese then mushrooms then mac & cheese then top with second slice of bread
Ready to cut and enjoy.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dehydrating Oranges and Other Citrus Fruit

 Today I am dehydrating oranges. I bought 8 large fresh oranges and washed their skins then starting slicing.

It's important to try to get your slices the same thickness or else some will dehydrate faster than others. Just do the best you can.

You don't have to leave them in rounds. You can half or even quarter the round slices if you want.
Sliced and ready for the dehydrator tray.

Set the dehydrator to 135 and turn it on. These will take several hours, then I can put them in any clean jar, label and date it and store them in a cool dry place.

You can dehydrate limes. lemons and grapefruit or citrus fruit the same way. 

Nesco Dehydrator
If you don't have a dehydrator, I can recommend two. I have a small, cheaper Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator which I purchased from It does a decent job but does not have an internal fan so dehydrating takes longer and you must rotate the trays for even dehydration.

Then I have my heavy duty dehydrator, the Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator which has an internal fan and 9 trays. It does an amazing job and no need to rotate trays as the fan distributes the heat evenly.

Excalibur Dehydrator
My 8 large oranges dehyrated to 5 small jars of slices.

We believe in being self-sufficient if there is ever a long-lasting emergency or crisis situation. So I dehydrate many fruits and vegetables for use if that ever happens. They will last a very long time and all you need do is check them every so often for mold. Don't open the jar, be sure you use glass so you can spot check without disturbing the food items.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 3: On Pumpkin Bread and Loaded

Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 3: On Pumpkin Bread and Loaded
You've probably all figured out by now that I like think of different ways to use up leftovers. And that I think Grilled Cheese is the most amazingly versatile food ever. Well today was no different. I had a few items in the fridge that were on their last day of being edible - mushrooms, a bit of roasted turkey, half a package of bacon and half a loaf of homemade Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread.

So I made grilled cheese out of all those ingredients plus some cheese, eggs and for extra good health, flax seed. Okay I see your puzzled looks but trust me - flax seed is not noticeable in foods, either in taste or texture. So it's perfectly okay to sprinkle some on to whatever you're making. And it is one of the best sources of Omega 3 there is!

Here is my list of ingredients for 3 sandwiches:

  • 3 eggs
  • some margarine for the sandwiches and for frying those mushrooms
  • bacon (about 3 slices per sandwich unless you are a die-hard bacon lover, then you will want more
  • 3 large mushrooms, sliced
  • a bit of salsa (about 1 tsp per sandwich)
  • leftover cooked turkey or chicken
  • pumpkin bread - enough to equal 6 normal slices of bread. I didn't have enough so had to make 2 pumpkin bread grilled cheese and 2 white bread 
  • cheese. Once again I forgot to buy cheddar cheese when we went grocery shopping on Monday so had to resort to processed cheese slices. 
  • Tomatoes. I didn't have any but I would have sliced them and included them if I had
The first step is to start cooking your bacon. I like to do mine on parchment paper in a 350' oven for about 20 minutes. It saves all that splattering of grease, and having no room on my stove to cook the rest of the ingredients.

You can butter your bread and start prepping your mushrooms. I also like to put each of the eggs I'm going to use in a small ramekin or cup so that I can inspect them to make sure there are no yukky bits.

When there is about 10 minutes left before your bacon is ready, start frying up your mushroom slices. I also added my leftover turkey so it would come to heat  with the mushrooms. When my bacon and mushroom-turkey mix were ready I wrapped them in tin foil and put them in the microwave to keep warm.

Then I fried my eggs in one skillet and starting toasting my buttered breads in a second one. I talked about the right way to cook an egg so there are no crispy edges and so the yolk is not running out when you bite into your sandwich, at Not Your Usual Grilled Cheese No. 2

I like to put my cheese on the fried egg just before it is ready so the heat melts the cheese slightly. I also put about a tsp. of flax seed divided evenly on the eggs as they were cooking.  Remember to break the yolks too.

Once my bread was lightly toasted on one side, I started layering the ingredients - egg with melted cheese and flaxseed, then mushrooms and turkey, then bacon. I topped this with a dollop of garlic salsa (but I would use regular salsa next time) then put the second piece of bread on top. This is a thick sandwich and needs to be pressed down with something heavy.

 This is the Flax Seed I buy. It can sprinkled on oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, even on sour cream. You can bake with it by adding a teaspoon to your regular recipe for any kind of breads. Just be sure it is ground and keep it in the refrigerator once you've opened it. It's high in fibre and Omega 3
 The pumpkin bread is cooking in one skillet and I've started layering
The white bread is toasting in a separate skillet and I've put the egg-cheese on as the start of my layers.

Layering with bacon, mushrooms, turkey and a dollop of salsa.
Turn the sandwich over carefully and toast the other piece of bread. This pumpkin bread sandwich is almost ready. Don't forget to press the sandwiches down with something heavy!

When they are golden, slice the sandwiches and serve. We had ours with tea and it hit the spot.
This is the white bread sandwich I made along with the pumpkin bread sandwiches