Monday, 24 December 2007

Weeknight Dessert


My Hubby has a love for chocolate.

Since we married, I have a love for chocolate.

My daughter has a love for chocolate (I blame genetics).

Consequently we are all on the search for something sweet the moment supper is over. Normally, I try to ignore the craving so my waistline doesn't suffer too much. Hubby will try and fulfil his by eating cereal, something I really don't understand, but Lilly will join him. However, sometimes the cereal doesn't quite fix the problem, but on a weeknight I never feel much like baking something.


At least until now! Thanks to Baking Delights, our house now has a new favorite weeknight dessert. It is so incredibly simple, involving barely anytime in the kitchen, and it tastes wonderful! Thank you Marye, I think I will need to go to the gym more now ;)


Sunday, 23 December 2007

Friends and Food

Our friends have a yearly tradition, that has been going on since the early days of university. Every year around Christmas we all gather together, for our annual Christmas Potluck. The years have spread most of us out over the country, and even taken a few abroad. Somehow though must of us all manage to make it back together. Of course there are new faces to the circle too, as many of us have settled down. There are even a few children running around...or at least soon will. It is always such a good opportunity to catch up, and of course eat, and eat and eat. Really what would a party be without food :)

Traditional I am the host of this joyous gathering, which I love. This year however I planned the date such that is coincided with our Dance recital. Needless to say it did not leave much time for preparation and I was looking for a couple of very quick, easy and delicious recipes to prepare in advance. This one here fit the bill for sure. The pita chips are a little more time consuming that just opening a bag of nachos, but nothing compares to them and they are worth the few minutes for sure.

White-bean hummus

White- Bean Hummus: (From Eat, Shrink and be Merry)

  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cp light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp minced dill
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch black pepper

  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup seeded and diced English cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled basil and tomato feta
Place all hummus ingredients in food processor and whirl until smooth (see told you it was easy). Spread over a 8 or 0 inch casserole dish or pie place. Top with diced cucumber, tomato, green onions and feta. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Pita Chips:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 whole wheat pitas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 350F. Crush rosemary and mix with Parmesan in small bowl. In a separate small bowl mix olive oil, butter, garlic and onion powder.

Using kitchen scissors, cut pita into wedges. Peel pita apart so that you have doubled the number of wedges.

Using pastry brush, brush the olive oil mixture on the rough side of the pita. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes. Be careful as they can burn in an instant. Cool before serving with hummus or other dip of choice.


Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Mmmmm, I love salsa!

There is something about the combination of flavors, and the bite of the spice that I cannot simply get enough of. Hubby is not the biggest fan of Mexican food, so I am restricted in how frequently I am allowed to prepare it for the family. Consequently there is always a jar of salsa in my fridge for my own personal indulgence. Like with my eggs, or crackers, and even occasionally by the spoonful :)

Now of course, I am the one who sets the menu in the house. So when the jar in the fridge doesn't quite satisfy my craving, something hot and spicy is on the menu. This dish here is one of my favorites. If I serve it with guacamole (which is a must in our house) it becomes one of Hubby's favorite dishes. Oh, and did I mention that it is one of the simplest things to make ever...pushing it even further up my favorite list.

Guacamole: (Every time I make this it is different, I have tried to approximate the quantities but in reality I just do it by taste)

Guacamole Preperations
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Cut avocados in half, remove pit, and spoon filling to a small bowl. Mash avocado until smooth (if your avocados are not ripe this isn't the easiest thing to do). Stir in in cilantro, garlic, and lime juice. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Finish off with final squeeze of lime juice on top (don't mix this one in, helps prevent things from going brown colour), and cover until ready to serve.

Southwest Bake:

Southwest Rice Bake
  • 2 Chicken breast, cubed
  • Olive oil
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 650 ml jar of salsa
  • 1 & 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chilies
  • zest of 1 lime
  • Cilantro

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat oil in skillet. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and cumin and brown in hot skillet.

In a 9x13 casserole dish, combine rice, salsa, broth, vest and dried chilies. Place chicken on top. Cover with foil and place in oven. Cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for 20 minutes, or until rice is dry.

Garnish with Cilantro, and serve with both guacamole and sour cream.


Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The ultimate menu planning

I have been busy trying to pull together the menu for our big Christmas dinner. Not that I am using that as an excuse for not posting. The reason for that would be sheer laziness lack of time at the moment!

With this whole Christmas dinner thing I am trying to be prepared, I am trying to be organized, and it is getting to be slightly over whelming! Of course that is completely due to my indecisiveness. You see, yesterday I decided that for dessert we were going to have chestnut cheesecake. Today I have decided that we will instead be having a cranberry-chocolate tart. Tomorrow, it is quite possible that it is something completely different.

The more I search, the more find, the more I want to try. I know I need to pick something and stick with it, but it is really easier said than done. Anyway without further adieu, here is how things stand so far:

  • Salmon cheese ball
  • Salad??? (Haven't thought about this one at all yet)
  • Brussels sprouts and pancetta dish
  • Cream cheese mashed potatoes
  • Side dish #2??? (Can't for the life of my find anything for this one!)
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Stuffing (Hubby's department)
  • Turkey (Hubby again)
  • Cranberry-chocolate tart
  • Assortment of holiday baking
It is a work in progress. I still have time, right?

Monday, 26 November 2007


Sometimes the thought of coming home to make supper for the family is overwhelming. Now, for the most part I use my time in the kitchen to de-stress after a long day at work. However, there are always those days when it is the last place I want to be! Of course then the dilemma then is what too eat. I am still hungry, Hubby is still hungry, and Lilly, well she needs something to turn her nose up at still :)

On days like these there are a few recipes that I can call upon in a pinch, including the chicken-pot pie. It involved minimal effort on my part, and the ingredients are things I normally have on hand, so I can substitute it into my menu for the week in an instant. Not to mention the fact that there is something incredibly comforting about this dish, so if I have had a rough day it is certain to help me to feel better.

Chicken Pot Pie:

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 Chicken breast cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 125g of light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • 1 frozen pie crust, thawed(I know it would be so much better with a homemade one, but the point of this is quick and easy, one day I will try it though)

Preheat oven to 375 F

Cook chicken in dressing in large skillet until outside no longer pink. Add cream cheese and stir until melts. Add broth and veggies and simmer for about5 min.

Pour mixture into 8" or 9" deep pie dish. Place pie crust on top, and cut slits on top for vents.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes (or until golden)


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Filo Adventures

So I had my very first encounter using Filo pastry last week.

It turned out wondeful in the end, but truth be told it didn't start out so hot. It was mostly due to my inability to read directions, and I didn't let the filo thaw oout first. So just picture me trying to gently coat 4 tiny sheets of the pastry away from the giant frozen roll. I know, I know, I have learned my lesson for next time. Yes, there will be a next time for sure, as really I do love the stuff.

Filo Wrapped Salmon with Honey Garlic Sauce: (Adapted from Sandi Richard - Fixing Dinner) - Serves 4

  • 4 pieces of bonelss, skinless salmon
  • Melted butter
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsbp fresh grated ginger
  • 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cups honey garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot sauce of choice

Cut sheets of filo pastry in half width wise. Seperate pieces and place two on top of another. Place remaining pieces off to side and cover with damp towel (This is rather imortant step that I may have slightly over looked at the time).

Place one piece of salmon in center of filo, sprinkle with pinch of chinse 5 spice, and brush filo around salmon edges with melted butter. Fold opposite side of filo over salmon brushing with butter. Repeat with remaing pieces. Brush top with butter and sprinkle with a pinch of rosemary.

Place on cookie sheet and bake in 350F oven for approximatly 20 minutes.

To prepare sauce combine cornstarch, chicken broth and ginger in small pot and whisk together. Over medium heat add honey garlic sauce, hot sauce and sesame oil. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick.

Spoon sauce onto the bottom of each plate and serve salmon on top.


Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Menu Planning

So I am just going to pretend that last week didn't happen. That I didn't leave you all out in the cold with my menu planning. It isn't that I didn't plan things, it is just that for some reason I couldn't find the time to share it with you. And, I am was that one that swore I wouldn't let NaBloPoMo get in the way, oops!

Well if it makes you feel anybetter it wasn't the most exciting week anyway. So don't worry you didn't miss much at all. Plus I will try to make it up this week, with lots of exciting recipes!

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Filo Salmon
Thursday: Chana Masala
Friday: Left Overs
Saturday: Mac & Cheese Caserole
Sunday: Red Risotto and Steak

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Holiday cookbook showdown

Back during the Christmas of 2004, my Mom gave me these three little holiday treat cookbooks. I leafed through the pages, drooled of the pictures and then put them aside. I have flipped through them many times since that first day I received them, but until now never tried a single recipe from one of them.

I am not really sure why. True, some requested ingredients that I didn't stock in my pantry for baking on a whim, such as condensed milk or toffee bites. But, I will be frank and say I think I used that an an excuse. Really I was just over whelmed and didn't know where to start! How could three, tiny books get to me like that? Well last weekend, I wanted to try something new, and selected a recipe in one of them, got everything out and went too it!

The spell has been broken, and it only took just shy of three years!

The cookies, our first of the holiday season, were simple and delicious. I will be trying more from all of those books before too long. I am even going to make sure I pickup some condensed milk so I have no excuses.

Chewy Chocolate-Cinnamon Cookies:

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp, plus 1/4 cup, sugar divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease cookie sheet.

Beat butter until creamy, add brown sugar and 2 tbsp granulated sugar and continue to beat. Add egg, baking soda, corn syrup and vanilla, Mix well.

In a separate bowl stir together flour and cocoa. Add to butter mixture and mix together. Stir in chopped chocolate.

Cover and refrigerate until dough firm enough to handle (approx 30 minutes). Share dough into balls, approx 1" diameter. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in separate bowl. Roll balls in mixture and place on cookie sheet approx 2" apart (These cookies did spread out quite a bite when cooking).

Bake 9-10 minutes, or until tops cracked. Remove from oven and cool slightly, then move to wire rack to cool completely.


Thursday, 1 November 2007

Menu Planning

So I have nyself slightly busy over here. I am going to try and not let it affect things in this neck of the woods. Okay, seriously who am I kidding, it can't get much worse over here can it? I know I am a bad food blogger.

I am trying and you will just have to wait and be patient with me. I do promise there is more come soon. Like wonderful Christmas cookies (which of course are already gone), and a really tasty and super easy baked chicken dish. I promise it will all be worth the least I hope so ;)

Wednesday: Kickn' chicken
Thursday: Pizza
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Salmon and salad
Sunday: Shrimp scampi
Monday: Lilly's Birthday, so no cooking!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Tuna, Tuna, and more Tuna.

What do you do when you have a million cans of tuna stocked up in your pantry, and are looking for something different and exciting? No, I am totally serious. I have what feels like a million cans of tuna. Really it isn't quite as versatile as something like chicken, and nothing like a piece of fresh tuna.

How did I end up with so much tuna you ask yourself? See I might have gone through a slight bird flu pandemic, paranoia phase last year. Consequently I started stock piling nonperishables by the box full. I know I need help, you can stop rolling on the floor with laughter. My Hubby thinks I am nuts, but did humor me through out the entire phase, and go with the flow.

Needless to say I am over it now, and trying to find interesting ways to use up this tuna. These little cakes were pretty good, we even got Lilly to take a bite of two (trust me that is a miracle). But my favorite part of this meal was by far the noodles...they will be seen again you can guarantee it!

Peanut Butter Thai Noodles:
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Udon noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
Cook noodles according to package directions, and drain.

In a small pot combine chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chili sauce, and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking until peanut butter melts.

Pour over noodles, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions.

Tuna cakes:
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • Oil for frying
In a large bowl, mix tuna, egg, bread crumbs, green onions, and garlic. Mix in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, and pepper.

Divide mixture into about 6 patties approximately 1 inch thick. Lightly sprinkle each patty on all sides with cornmeal.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Fry each patty about 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Menu Planning

Well last week things didn't go exactly as planned. I understand that normaly things don't go as planned, but last week was particularily a bad one. Not much cooking involved unfortunately, and the little I was able to accomplish I have not yet been able to share. I am trying, but this post-move chaos is still just dragging me down.

Then this week we have been busy celebrating my birthday (still) with family. Last night was dinner at my parents, and tomorrow is dinner at the in laws. Really I can't complain. Delicious food that I didn't have to make, cake of course, time with my families, and less groceries to buy so less money to spend :)

Wednesday: Slow cooked stew with dumplings
Thursday: In laws house
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: I will be out with Lilly at her friend's birthday party, so no cooking again
Sunday: Curry night (this would be the same curry night we were to have last week)
Monday: Pizza

Friday, 19 October 2007

Birthday Celebrations

Tomorrow is my birthday, the big old 2-6. Well I guess not really that old, but it is still another year closer to thirty, a number which I am dreading.

Historically in my family birthdays are celebrated with a store bought Safeway birthday cake, complete with icing flowers. Now this cake must be from Safeway! Not Superstore, or Save-On, or the cute little bakery down the street that uses only the finest ingredients. I can't really explain it. The average person would find the icing way to sweet in eat, and the cake probably not the moistest they had ever tasted. But, for us it represents the definition of a birthday. They funny thing is I have even converted my in-laws on this matter, and now birthdays in both houses are celebrated with the Safeway cake.

Unfortunately for me though tomorrow will not be celebrated with the coveted cake, as nearly everyone is working! On my birthday everyone, including my Hubby, is working and leaving me alone :( The festivities will be postponed until the middle of the week, but that still leaves my actual birthday slightly empty. So to compensate I decided to make myself birthday cupcakes tonight...what a better way to make a girl feel better.

Now, I deliberately didn't make chocolate cupcakes either to ensure that my Hubby would not over indulge in my birthday treat to myself...aren't I sneaky! These burnt-butter cupcakes are straight from Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic Goddess. I have to admit I was a little scared to try them, based on the name. But I felt adventurous, and went for it. Lets just same I am really glad that I did, as these are absolutely delicious. There really is no way to explain the taste from the burnt butter, as it isn't 'burnt' at all, but rather rich and incredibly aromatic. The recipe itself is very simply and straight forward, and I highly recommend them!

Burnt-Butter Cupcakes: (Nigella Lawson)
Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 125g self raising flour (is you don't have it is easy to make, check it out here)
  • 60g sugar
  • 65g brown suger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 390F.

Over medium heat melt butter, stirring constantly until it is a dark, golden colour (You will really be able to smell it when it is at this point, it isn't a burnt smell thought). Remove from heat and strain butter into bowl to remove sediment. Let butter solidify again.

In a food processor combine all other ingredients except for the milk. Process into a smooth batter. Pour milk down funnel while pulsing batter.

Spoon in to paper cup lined muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. These don't make big cupcakes at all. I was barely able to fill the bottom of each tin.

Burnt-Butter Icing:
Makes enough icing to very generously cover all cupcakes, and then some.
  • 150g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk (I used cream, I felt like being extravagant)
Repeat process with butter. Add half of icing sugar and beat until mixed and stiff. Add a tablespoon og the milk, followed by more sugar. Alternate until desired consistency is acheived. Finally add the vanilla.

Smooth icing over cupcakes, and ENJOY!!!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Menu Planning

I am back, and more that ready too cook! The last two weeks have been nothing but eating out, and quite frankly if I don't set foot into a restaurant for the next six months it will still be too soon!

I am dying at this point to use my new kitchen, for something beside making cream of wheat cereal. I want to slide open one my pot drawers and reach for my pan of choice, without sitting on the floor and removing the entire content of the cabinet. Or, walk over to my pantry and be able to easily spot my ingredients, because everything in no longer crammed into shelves just so it stays put. And yes, it is time that my new kitchen appliances be put to the test!

It is just unfortunate that I still don't have a table in which to serve my creations at...hopefully by next weekend we will have that problem rectified.

Tuesday: Mexican salmon and salad
Wednesday: Asian tuna cakes (I appear to have a multitude of canned tuna...way more that I though...suggestions are more than welcome for recipes) and noodles
Thursday: Chicken curry
Friday: Night off
Saturday: Shrimp Etoufee
Sunday: Pizza

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

I didn't forget

I am just not cooking all week! Trying to use up my freezer food in preperatin for our move.

I will be back next week when I get to cook in here:

Sunday, 30 September 2007


–adverb a hasty, haphazard manner
2.hasty and careless

My grandfather was a slapdash cook, throwing whatever he could together. A good friend came over the other night and she made us dinner, she is a slapdash cook.

Me, unfortunately not so much. I need structure, I need direction, I need inspiration for whatever I am making. Maybe it is due to what I consider lack of experience, or simply a fear of the unknown...what is it really going to taste like? My friend explained to just go for it and mix stuff up.

But I can't, I just can't!

Unless, I am making pasta. Fr some reason at that point I have no problem getting creative with my dishes, and simply adding whatever I have on hand. Pasta seems like something that you just can't screw up too badly, so why not just go for it. I probably should transfer this attitude to more of my dishes, and I guess I will in time. I just need to take baby steps to get there, Hey it is not like I am wanting to go on Hell's Kitchen or some other reality based chef show. All I want to do is cook for my family!

Lemon Shrimp pasta:

  • Farfalle (aka bowtie) pasta
  • half onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Cook pasta according to package directions.

In large fry pan, cook onions and garlic until soft. Add uncooked shrimp and cook until just starting to turn pink. Add frozen peas and lemon zest and continue to cook until shrimp is cooked. Add cream cheese and stir into mixture until melted. Add broth or wine and mix.

Remove from heat and add to mix with cooked pasta. Add basil, and toss.


Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Menu Planning

Two weeks left, until I get to cook in my new kitchen! That means only two weeks left in my current little one :( It has been a good little kitchen. It has seen me through many culinary adventures over the past two years. Some which we remember fondly with mouths watering, and others, well we simply choose not to remember. Together my kitchen and I have travelled the world; Italy, England, Mexico, Thailand, India...the list goes on. Each stop teaching a new lesson, and creating a new memory.

I am definitely a little sad to leave, and going to give my kitchen a good last hurrah!

Tuesday: Steak (missed the menu last week)
Wednesday: Curry night
Thursday: Lilly night - Translation: shake n' bake and broccoli
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Shrimp pasta of some kind
Sunday: Birthday celebration at Nana's house

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Something new

Today marked a new culinary adventure in our kitchen! Wait that make my kitchen sound like it is normally boring, but it isn't, I swear! I am always trying new things and attempting to recreate and spicy up the old. It is just that this was the first time I have made, and to be honest tasted, paella. Okay maybe that does make me slightly behind, but at least I finally have it checked off my list of things to cook. Let me tell you this though it is definitely something I will be repeating in our kitchen, very soon as we both loved it!

This recipe was apparently the original brain child of Mark Bittman. While it looked wonderful I wasn't too sure if I could get away with a second vegetarian night with Hubby after the mushroom soup, so I was delighted when Nicole tweaked it slightly. With that we were off and running. I was pleasantly surprised at the easy in which this came together. The reason I have never even dreamed of making it before was because I just assumed it was difficult...silly me. I have learn my lesson.

Tomato paella with chorizo sausage:

As I said being a paella virgin, I just used this recipe, you can check it out here.


Saturday, 22 September 2007

Savory Soup

I don't like raw mushrooms, shhhh it is a secret. Simply I can't stand the texture of them, all spongy and squigy! Now if you fry them up and cook them in something you have a totally different story as I can't stop eating them. There is something about the earthy flavor that develops, and the change in texture, that I can't get enough of. If you put them in a soup and I am in even more trouble. Consequently whenever I stumble across a mushroom soup recipe I have to try it, no if ands or buts! Hubby of course complains at the start due to the lack of meat, but normally enjoys it just as much as I do in the end.

This recipe here is by far the simplest one I have completed to date. Not many complicated ingredients, so it allows the full bodied flavor of the mushroom to be full enjoyed. It was also very quick and easy, something I definitely appreciate after a long day at work and a almost three year old who desperately wants my attention.

White Mushroom Soup:

  • 2 lbs white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 4 1/4 cups chicken broth or water
  • Salt and pepper
Melt butter in soup pot. Add onion and cook slowly until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until soft.

Add flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Add thyme, chicken stock and salt and pepper. Bring to boil and cook covered for approximately 15 minutes.

Transfer half to blender and puree, and return to pot, stirring well to incorporate.

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Menu Planning

Busy, busy, busy!

I feel like I don't even have a moment to stop and catch my breath at the moment. Yesterday had a lot of big changes happened in my life. It is very exciting and very nerve racking, and does cause me to revert to the one safe place I have. My kitchen of course! I can feel the desire to cook fantabulous meals for Hubby returning. Only problem is now I have to find the time to do so. If only everything could align at the same time!

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Mushroom soup
Thursday: Grilled steak and asparagus
Left overs
Saturday: Tomato Paella with Chorizo
Sunday: Glazed salmon

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

What to do when you break a promise

My daughter had been so upset I was going to work last Friday morning. There were tears streaming down her face, and all she wanted was for 'Mommy don't leave me'. Talk getting you where it hurts. Unfortunately a two year old doesn't quite understand the concept of jobs, money, and expense yet, so it is slightly hard to explain why Mommy has to go. The one thing she does understand though is the playground! I totally used this to my advantage and promised, actually make that pinky swore, that I would take her the next morning.

Of course Saturday morning comes and it is gloomy, rainy. Not really something you want to venture out in, but I probably would have for the sake of my pinky swear. That is until my Hubby has to borrow my car for work, which contains my car seat and stroller. What does that mean...we are really stuck at home for the day. So now what. We 'make a recipe' of course. Something without eggs, because I was out, and something that she could help with. Nigella to the recuse again! She had the perfect recipe, that I had to adapt slightly to what I had in my cupboards, but it worked! These Rocky Road Bites as we called them were so quick, easy and very kid friends. The best part, they tasted really good :)

Rocky Road Bites: (Makes approximately 20)

  • 225 g milk chocolate
  • 75 g peanuts (or nut of your choice)
  • 75 g mini-marshmallows (I only had big ones and took the time to cut them up, NOT fun)
Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Stir in peanuts and marshmallows.

Drop my heaping teaspoons onto a lined cookie sheet.

Place somewhere too cool.

Enjoy! (See wasn't that ridiculously easy!)

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Menu Planning

I have spent hours upon hours today scouring for inspiration. I have searched through the database of Food Network and Epicurious; skimmed the archives of both familiar and unfamiliar blogs yearning for something, anything that peaks my interest. There are some that look incredible, and I become curious about. Then my eye catches the list of ingredients involved and am instantly turned off.

I don’t know what my problem is!

I was finally able to find a few that a felt would be simple enough for me to handle, but sounded delicious as well. I am really hoping this dry spell ends soon. I am suspecting that once I am settled in my new kitchen, and the stress from selling our condo is gone, there might not be this ‘mental’ block’. Hopefully my theory is correct ;)

Tuesday: Pizza (Just to clarify we don’t order pizza all the time, we pick one of from the deli at the supermarket)
Wednesday: Hero Subs
Thursday: Omelets (yes we are having omelets, don’t ask why they just sounded so good)
Friday: Leftovers
90210 marathon at a girlfriends house...Hubby is on his own!
Druken Noodles

Saturday, 8 September 2007


The laziness is still continuing. Add to it the massive head cold I am fighting at the moment and what do you get? A really boring food blog. So for that I apologize. Hopefully things will be back to normal next week, well as normal as our house ever is!

I did find the energy to whip up this yummy dish. Okay, really it didn't take much energy at all. I totally cheated and didn't make my own pie crust, store bought all the way. Sometimes for us working moms you just don't have the time and it is the only way to go. The recipe itself is very forgiving and you can play with its contents to fit your own tastes.

Spinach & Mushroom Quiche:

  • 1-9" pie shell
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms sliced
  • 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F.

In fry pan melt butter, and add onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add mushroom and continue to cook until soft. Add in drained spinach. Stir in feta and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Poor into pie shell.

In separate bowl beat eggs and milk together. Poor over top of veggie/cheese mixture.

Place on cookie sheet in oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes (I do recommend the cookie sheet below the pie dish, we had a case of exploding quiche, and it if wasn't for the cookie sheet I would have had a huge mess to clean. We are talking the kind of mess where I would have prefered to simply buy a new oven then try to clean it). Cover the top with the remainder of the cheese, and return to oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until middle is set. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Menu Planning

I am having a real lack of creativity this week with the menu. Add to that being super lazy and what to do get...something I will probably regret mid-week when eating dinner. Oh, well what can you do. At least most of the recipes I have picked are from Eat shrink and Be Merry, so I know that they will be good, it is just that I picked the easiest ones in there to do :)

I am also trying to use the contents of my pantry and freezer as much as possible in preparation for the big move. I have no idea why I have so many cans of tuna! And really what can you do with a can of tune that is exciting? If anyone has any suggestions I would be very open to hearing some.

Anyway here we go:

Tuesday: pizza
Wednesday: Tuna wraps
Thursday: Quiche
Friday: Left overs
Saturday: Sticky Chicken and Rice
Sunday: Tofu parma
Monday: Left overs

Monday, 3 September 2007

Labour Day

There is something about a long weekend and food. I know traditionally it is a long-weekend BBQ kinda deal, but not for us this year. This morning though, I wasn't running off to the gym or out for a jog like a normal weekend, Hubby didn't have to work until noon and Lilly slept in. So I decided to treat us with chocolate chip waffles for a long weekend breakfast!

The only waffle I grew up exposed to was an Eggo one. Now they remind me of my childhood, but the day I received a waffle iron for a shower gift I could not wait to use it! I made these waffles right after we moved into our condo on Christmas morning. They instantly became a favorite in our house and are now seen at all major breakfast tables. I personally love the light, fluffiness of them. But of course the chocolate plays a large part in its popularity, and probably is the main reason they are requested. The chocolate provides such a nice sweetness that these don't even need syrup, but of course if you want to indulge who am I to stop you! I

I have tried a few other recipes, but none have come close to matching these as of yet.

Chocolate Chip Waffles:

  • 1 1/2 cup milk (room temp)
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.

Separate eggs and place whites and yolks in separate bowls.

Whisk yolks, milk, vanilla and butter together. Add flour mixture and whisk until forms batter.

Whip egg whites until hold loose peak. Scatter sugar over top until whites hold soft peak. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter. Slowly add remaining whites continuing to gently fold in. Finally stir chocolate chips.

Heat waffle iron, and brush with butter. Pour batter onto hot iron, and cook until golden.


Sunday, 2 September 2007

Birthday celebrations

Last weekend it was my Dad's birthday (yes it has really taken me that long to write this post). My Dad is pretty easy going and doesn't normally ask for much attention on his birthday. In fact he would be quite okay if no one even noticed the day. Of course no one in our family would actually let that happen, so we just try to keep it low-key. So with that in mind my gift to him this year was that I was going to make his birthday cake. However I decided not to go with a traditional cake with frosting this year. He has a passion for brownies, so I thought they would be perfect in place of the traditional!

I remember as a child whenever a pan of brownies was made they would mysteriously disappear almost instantly after being removed from the oven. It always made me mad, because I would barely get any of them. I wanted my share of the dense, gooey chocolate! Of course now that I no longer live at home I rarely make them, because I would eat the whole pan myself. That is really something I am tying to avoid. It would completely destroy all those hours at the gym I have put in. Especially this recipe!

The recipe I used was a Nigella Lawson on and made a huge batch of the most fudge-like brownies I have ever had! There was a moment thought when I was ready the through the entire thing across the room. It was entirely due to the length of cooking time. She suggest 25 minutes, well at that point my brownies where no where close to being done! I think I ended up more than doubling the suggested the end I lost track of how long they actually cooked for. Other than that I highly recommend these!

Brownies: (courtesy of Nigella Lawson-with slight modifications)

  • 375g soft unsalted butter
  • 375g best-quality dark chocolate

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 500g sugar
  • 225 g flour
  • 1 ts salt
  • 150g chopped pecans
  • 150g white chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 9x12 pan with parchment paper or tin foil.

Melt the butter and chocolate together. Once melted let cool slightly.

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat.

Measure flour and salt in to separate bowl.

Mix cooled chocolate mixture with eggs and sugar.

Add the nuts and chip, and then flour.
Beat until smoothly and scrape into lined pan.

Bake in oven until top is paler, but middle is still dense and gooey. I think mine baked around 1 hour, but like I mentioned the suggest time is 25 minutes (which seemed way off!). Just keep an eye one them and test with a tooth pick in center, do remember that as they cool they do continue to cook.


Thursday, 30 August 2007

Goodbye Summer

I am welcoming Fall with arms wide open. To celebrate I made soup last night, and enjoyed every single minute of it! Of course since doing so the sun has come out, and it is 28C, but that is okay.

Normally I am not quite so welcoming of the season change, and I am sure once fall is officially here I will be regretting my early indoctrination of it. Of course to be honest my longing for colder weather is simply due to the my overwhelming desire to use my new cookbook, Great Soup, Empty Bowls. Did I mention that I was able to get a copy of it for only $5 at HomeSense, I really love that store. Because I wouldn't let myself make soup in too early, I have been reading it over and over again. Flagging all the ones that catch my eye, which is most of the book. I was even reading it in the ER last week, while I was waiting for my Hubby. I do believe they people there though I was a tad strange. Oh well!

Anyway this I was very impressed with first one and can't wait to try more of them.

Fresh corn chowder and roasted red pepper cream:
(Serves 4)

  • 4 cobs of corn
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cubbed
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 poblano pepper: roasted, peeled, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt
Start by cutting corn off of cobs. You should end up with approximately 2/5-3 cups. In soup pot, melt butter and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add potato, corn and milk. Bring to a simmer and semi-cover pot with lid cooking until potato is soft. Approximately 10 minutes.

Add whipping cream, poblano pepper, and season with salt. Return to a simmer. Stirring frequently, cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

For the cream:
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 red pepper: roasted, peeled, seeded and pureed
Combine all ingredients for the cream. Add a dollop on top of soup and serve.


Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Menu Planning

The mission to use as much food from my pantry and freezer over the next few weeks as possible. Why you ask? Well we finally received a possession date for our new house, and I don't really want to move or possibly have to throughout that much food! See I have a bad habit of stock up on food when it is on sale, and freezing left overs a lot!

So the goal is to try and make our way through everything slowly. The good thing is it cuts down my grocery bill quite a bit!

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Soup (homemade of course)
Thursday: Biryani (cheating on this one, it is from a box)
Friday: Night off
Saturday: Wedding
Sunday: Ham and potatoes - attempt number 2
Monday: Leftovers

Have a good week :)

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Vegetarian Night

In our quest to eat healthier, I like to have Vegetarian night. I aim for at least once a week, however it unfortunately doesn't always end up that often. Normally Hubby protests the night, and aways comments on 'how this would be really good if there was ground beef in it!'. I of course deny him, and we continue on our merry way :)

For this week's vegetarian installment I was able to combine with one of my favorite styles of cooking, Mexican! I adore the flavor of cumin, and the sort of smokey taste it bring to dishes. Of course it also gives me and excuse to use salsa when I am eating, my absolute favorite!

Vegetable Tostadas:

  • Tostada shells
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cubbed and boiled
  • 3 gloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 4 oz green beans, blanched and cut into bite sized pieces
  • oregano
  • 1 can black beans
  • Feta cheese
  • 2-3 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
  • 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
Heat olive oil in skilled and add cooked potatoes, and brown. Add garlic, red pepper, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Cook 2-3 minutes until peppers soft.

Add tomatoes, green beans, oregano. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until tender. The mixture should be sauce like, and not to dry. If needed add some water. (I added around 1/2 cup).

Heat black beans in separate skillet with small amount of water. Keep warm, but don't let dry out.

To assemble tostadas: place tostada shell on plate, and layer black beans over bottom, sprinkle with crumbles feta. Spoon hot veggie mix on and top with few shreds of lettuce and green onion and serve at once.

This recipe is really yummy. If there is a desire to serve it in a non-vegetarian style, you could replace the black beans with ground beef easily, Enjoy!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Thai Green Chicken Curry

We love our curries in this house! For Hubby it is cooking he grew up with, so it reminds him of home, and for me I just love the flavors and heat found in the dishes. It is something I was only exposed to within the last few years, but instantly fell in love with. Getting used to the heat has taken some time though :)

Through my curry adventures what I have quickly come to realize is that I would prefer a north Indian plate over a south Indian one any day. The problem with that is my Mother-in-law is from south India, and traditionally makes that style of food. She is wonderful at it, and actually known throughout her community for her cooking! She makes the best biryani hands down and I could never dare to compete against it (well at least not if I valve my life). But, that being said I have retreated to my own kitchen and done quite a bit of my own cooking and experimenting with curries now that suit my taste. My secret, I actually prefer mine to hers any day now, including this Thai one, shhhhhhh! I am going to get is so much trouble if she finds out!

Thai Green Chicken Curry:
  • 2 chicken breasts cubbed
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 eggplant chopped
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, minced
Green Chicken Curry

In large pan bring coconut milk to a boil. Add garlic, shallot, and chicken. Return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until chicken no longer pink. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and place in bowl off to side (keep warm).

Stir in curry paste into pan. Add eggplant, and chilies. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Return chicken to pan and return to boil. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt and pepper. You may need to add a small amount of water of broth if sauce is to thick (I added about 1/2 cup). Stir in cilantro. Serve with rice.


Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Menu Planning

Okay, it has been a crazy day at work, and I almost didn't have time for this today. Good thing my Hubby is always late picking me up!!!

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Thai green chili
Raspberry-Chipotle sauce with pork chops and roasted asparagus (I have never hear of raspberry-chipotle sauce before, but in the last week came across three different recipes for it so I just have to try it out!)
Friday: Night Off
Saturday: Vegetable Tostadas
Sunday: Hams, scallop potatoes and some random veggie to balance it out (For me this is comfort food and I just crave it everyone and awhile - Hubby hates it when I say 'Comfort Food', I tend to use that to describe lots I guess!)
Monday: Night off

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Guilty pleasures

For the most part, our house eats very healthy. We ate our veggies and have vegetarian nights, we try not to fry very often, we don't buy prepackaged foods, and I try to buy organic as much as I can afford too. Also we don't often have sweets in the house, and if we do they are homemade (so at least I have to burn calories to make least that is how I rationalize it). But of course every now and again, we get that urge for something that you know you shouldn't eat.

Ever since I read this post about fish and chips a few weeks back it is all I have been craving like you wouldn't believe. I added it to my menu planning a couple of times now and failed to produce. But I finally got around to my own version tonight! Of course I had to coordinate it with a gym day so I didn't feel too much guilt!

Beer battered Fish and Spicy Chips:

  • 1 lb tilapia (or white fish of choice)
  • 1 cup flour, plus extra for dredging
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 egg white
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • 4 large russet potatoes, cut into slices/wedges
  • cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with silpat (if you don't have one don't worry, just watch that chips don't stick).

Arrange potatoes on sheet in single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and small amount of cayenne pepper (be careful not to add to much, but if you like it hot go for it!) Using hands toss to coat.

Bake in oven for approximately 45-60 minutes or until crisp, turning frequently.

In a skillet add oil, approximately 2 inches in depth, and heat.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, dredge is flour and put aside.

Mix 1 cup flour, beer, salt and pepper. Put aside for 10 minutes. While waiting beat one egg white until peaks form. Gently fold into batter mixture.

Shake excess flour off of fish, and place into beer batter, coating well. Place in skillet with heated oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.


Chili Tartar sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayanoise
  • 1 tbsp minced pickle
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with fried fish.


Friday, 17 August 2007

Serves me right!

I was trying to fight back against the fall like weather we have been having. I should have done the soup like I wanted and just conceded.

Hubby was going to BBQ, how much more summer-esk can you get. Well of course midway last night, as we were cooking the propane runs out! So we haul everything back inside and fire up the oven to broil the rest of our meal. Of course it still tasted wonderful, but it was just missing the hint of BBQ taste. Oh-well what can you do.

Greek Salad and Red wine vinaigrette:

  • 1 tomato chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber chopped into large pieces
  • Feta
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

For vinaigrette combine in small bowl garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and red wine vinegar. Whisk well, and pour oil in as a slow stream, whisking continuously.

Combine all other ingredients in bowl and pour vinaigrette over, and toss to coat.

Greek burgers, stuffed with Feta, and tzatziki sauce:
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp cucumber minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or you can use fresh)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500g (1 package) lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp red onion minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Feta thinly sliced
For the tzatziki sauce:

Combine yogurt, garlic, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in small bowl. Mix well. Spread on half of toasted bun.

For the burger patties:

Combine beef, garlic, onion, lemon juice, oregano in bowl and mix well ensuring well combined. Divide meat mixture into equal portions for patties (mine made 4).

Divide each of those portions into two, and form into thin patties. Take one patty, place feta slice on top, place another patty on top and seal together. Repeat with remaining.

Cook until no longer pink.


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Menu Planning

Our heat wave is over :( In fact the way the temperature has dropped it feels like fall! I am very tempted to break out my soup pot, especially since I just got a new soup cookbook I am dying to try. But I will resist, and instead try to keep summer alive and BBQ!

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meat sauce
Thursday: Greek burgers and salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Going to a stagette...should be interesting
Sunday: Fish and Chips (trying this again)
Monday: Night Off

Monday, 13 August 2007


I have a major sweet tooth, it really isn't much of a secret. What my sweet tooth craves most of the time though isn't candy, or pop or even a chocolate bar. It is cake, with mountains of icing on top! I might have something to do with the way birthdays were celebrated in our house growing up. Every year, there was a Safeway cake, with flowers on top, and of course being the birthday girl you always got a flower. Um, I still need the flower off the cake.

Anyway, what a better way to indulge my sweet tooth than with cupcakes! Perfect little cakes, topped with swirls of flavored butter cream icing! My mouth is watering again. I found this wonderful site completely devoted to cupcakes, and then there is this awesome little cupcake bake shop in our city, They have the moistest cupcakes, and an icing that isn't overly sweet so you can enjoy every single bit. They inspire me. I want to whip out my kitchenAid and recreate the little mounds of cake, but alas I think that my waist line would severely regret that. If I have been more organized I could have tried to whip up a batch for the shower I hosted on the weekend. But who am I kidding, I don't have that kind of time! So for the time being I am leaving the work to the experts, and just going to enjoy!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

More Blueberries

By now you all know of my love for blueberries. Did I ever mention that I made that same pie again the next weekend! The first just disappeared too quickly for my Hubby's liking and he insisted. Really who was I to argue!

In order to do that second pie, I had to acquire myself a second case of blueberries. However, after two cases of blueberries (that would be 10 pounds worth) in just a little over a week, I must admit we were getting slightly tired of the little berries. I am ashamed to admit I could not really handle them on my cereal one more day. There were too many leftover to simply freeze and attempt to cram into my tiny freezer.

Looking for something simple, creative, that would respect Hubbies wishes of healthier food (at this point I was not yet banned from baking), and use as many little berries as possible what we came up with was pretty yummy. It didn't really solve my copious amounts of leftover berry problem, 3 out of 4 really isn't that bad!

Angel Food Cake with Blueberries and cream:

  • 1 angel food cake (preferably store much easier)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup non-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Place berries, granulated sugar and a couple of tablespoon of water into a sauce pan (Be careful not to put too much water in, 2 tsbp is really enough) and simmer for a few minutes.

For cream mix together sour cream, vanilla and icing sugar. Pour spoonful of cream over cake, top woth blueberry sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Menu Day

Seriously where has the week gone! I swear I am sitting here working on this post, blink, and all of a sudden I am doing the one for next week!

Busy is good though, as it keeps us on our toes. This week shall be no exception as between planning a bridal shower, getting ready for my race on Saturday, my mother's friend's wedding party, and normal life I am felling stretched pretty thing.

So with that taken into account we are going for quick and easy dinners this week.

Tuesday: Pizza!
Wednesday: Cedar plank salmon, wild rice and grilled portabello mushrooms (Look familiar? It should that would be the same one from last week that never quite got made)
Thursday: Shrimp and Orzo pasta salad
Friday: This is the east Indian wedding party, should be good food!
Saturday: Fish and Chips
Sunday: Bridal Shower, no dinner tonight
Monday: Night OFF!!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Kitchen masterpiece

There are some recipes that you take one look at, and just know that any attempt to try them is beyond your current skill set (and patience for that matter).

Some you see and think they will be a breeze, and they are.

Then there are my favorite ones. The ones that you think will be easy, but turn out to be waaay more involved and complicated that you thought possible. You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you make your way through one of these!

On one Sunday afternoon I started making a recipe that falls unto the latter category, unbeknown to me when I started of course. I end up spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen making stuffed potato patties! It was not the steps involved were overly complicated, on the contrary, it was simply the time involved made the process slightly exhausting. After I was finished the last thing I wanted to do was eat them! All of my hard work, my master piece, gone just like that. But who am I kidding, of course we dug in immediately once Hubby came home. It was then that it became worth every painstaking minute that they took. Hubby loved them, Lilly picked at them (which is impressive), and I will make them again...just not in the near future.

Stuffed Potato Patties: (Courtesy of Nigella Lawson - Feast)

  • 2kg russet potatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground all spice
  • 250g ground beef
  • 60ml water
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 70g plain flour
  • 200g fine bread crumbs
Pierce and bake potatoes until cooked through, leave them at cool.

Heat oil in fry pan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add spices and stir to coat onion. Add beef and cook, breaking up with spoon, until brown. Stir in water. Once cooked through remove from heat, let slightly cool, and then stir in parsley.

Scoop out inside of cool potatoes, add eggs, salt, and flour to mixture. At this point you need to make a smooth dough. I used my Kitchenaide, but it is suggested mixing by hand and kneading will work. DO NOT use a food processor! I found that I had to add quite a bit more flour, as it was very wet and very sticky. Too much so to do anything with properly.

Dough at this point is to be divided into 18-20 little balls. Each ball is to be flattened in your hands and 1 tsp of beef filling to be put into the center. Seal the beef inside of the flattened dough, reform into a ball and then flatten again. You should not be able to see the beef inside. Coat in bread crumbs, put off to the side and repeat. This would be the part that took quite some time! Make sure you cover your hand well with flour, as again this is initially a very sticky process and otherwise you will have trouble rolling dough into balls.

Add oil to fry pan (approximately 1 cm deep) and heat. Fry patties in hot oil until warmed through and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to paper towel lined rack to cool.


Green Fatoush: (Also courtesy of Nigella Lawson - Feast)
This is much simpler and just as incredibly delicious!

  • 4 green onions
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 pita breads
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp chopped mint (I admit I didn't have this, stupid grocery store was out)
Cut pitas open so that you have four halves. Toast them in oven on baking sheet for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.

For dressing whisk together lime zest, juice and oil in small bowl. Add sprinkle of salt, and put aside.

Deseed chillies and finely chop them and onions. Place into bowl. Tear lettuce unto pieces and add as well.

Half avocado, and using spoon scoop out pieces into salad. Pour dressing over, add most of chopped herbs and toss. Break toasted pita into pieces and toss again.

When you sever sprinkle top with remaining herbs and more pita.


Friday, 3 August 2007

I'm baaack!

Yaaaa, you can all breath a sigh of relief now. Our computer is back up and running perfectly, and we didn't lose anything that was on it! That means all of my pictures are okay, and I can get my butt in gear and share them with you all.

I feel so out of practice, so I do believe I need to start off slowly.

Nothing too complicated, but something incredibly wonderful nonetheless. How about grilled cheese? Not the one that you ate as a child, with those kraft slices between the bread. These ones have been spiced up and have a definite grownup taste to them. But they are quick, easy and gourmet!

Grownup Grilled Cheese:

  • Mushrooms (approximately 5) sliced
  • Pancetta thinly sliced
  • Tomato and basil Havarti (or any other cheese of choice)
  • Bread
  • Butter
In skillet fry mushroom with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, until soft. Remove from heat.

Taking two slices of bread, place thinly sliced cheese on one side and pancetta on the other. Place cooked mushrooms on one side and close sandwich. Butter outer sides of bread, and grill on warm skillet until each side is golden brown and cheese is melted, turning once.


Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Menu Planning

Well here goes my menu for the week. Like I said the only exciting thing you are going to see for some time now :( Oh, I am sooo sad I can't talk about it anymore. Oh and to add insult to injury Hubby has banned my from baking for the next month! He wants to try to shed a few pounds and very kindly requested that I not make anything that will tempt him. How can I not respect his wished. Oh the pain! The only glimmer of hope I have right now is that it is a long weekend coming up!

Tuesday: Stuffed peppers, fresh out of the freezer!
Wednesday: Grill of my Dreams - Marinate pork with grilled peppers and mango (From Eat, Shrink and Be merry, with a title like that how could it not be though)
Thursday: Pasta with meat balls
Friday: Night off
Saturday: Heritage day Festival
Sunday: Cedar plank salmon, wild rice and grilled portabello mushrooms
Monday: Pineapple teriyaki noodles

Monday, 30 July 2007

Out of commission

So, our computer is at the doctor at the moment, and it doesn't look too good.

Of course that means all of my pretty pictures are stuck on my camera and I have no way of sharing them with you all. Of course that means I will have an even larger back log of recipes to share, than I have already...should be loads of fun catching up!

So until then about all you are going to get is my weekly menu plans. I know not always the most exciting posts, but what can a girl do.

On fun note, I am hosting a bridal shower in a couple of weeks for a good friend. Now it is going to be a very last minute shower unfortunately, so I don't have a lot of time to prep (Although I am also hoping that fact will keep the number attending on the small side). If anyone has some good appetizers that they would like to share that would be greatly appreciate too :)

Thanks everyone.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Food Festivals

Last night we packed ourselves into the car, and made the long trek downtown for the Taste festival. It really is quite a trek, I'm not exaggerating, but it was worth every minute of driving.

The event always promises lots of food from a selection of the city's restaurants, wine, beer, people and music packed into the square around city hall. It is definitely a fun way of sampling a few signature dishes from what may potentially be your new favorite place to dine out at.

This year we had a budget (I know the aweful 'b' word, but with house on the way what could we do!), we only had 30 ticket to spend, so we had to make our choices carefully! With the much selection it is a rather daunting task.

We started our food journey at Beijing Beijing for Hubby's favorite, Ginger beef. I will admit it too, we actually were able to avoid spending of our precious tickets here, because we are friends with the owner, so this was a freebie :) You really don't here me complaining. We followed this first course with a second course of beef again, this time Lemongrass skewers . These were soooo good. The meat way so tender, and had just enough hint of a spice. Will be looking for a recipe like this to add to my own collection (If anyone has one please share).

Now our next stop may sound boring, but I assure you it is not! Chicken Caesar pita. It wasn't a regular Caesar pita, it was actually was from an East Indian catering restaurant and had a east Indian flare. I don't know how they did it, and I am kicking my self for not snapping a picture of it.
Lilly's favorite of the night was the chili garlic shrimp with curry saffron rice from Bistro Praha. Ok, really she just liked the rice and we enjoyed the shrimp, but still. This little place I had never heard of until now, and appears to have quite a reputation in our fine city, especially for schnitzels.

At this point, our stomachs were full, our tickets limited, and our mouths were craving something sweet.

Dessert time!

I started with the balsamic strawberries with a vanilla cream cheese mousse from Four Rooms. This spot is now privileged enough to be on my list of "places to visit" in the future. They apparently have jazz frequently too.

We finished our meal with what has become a tradition for us there every year (and the most affordable thing thing). Chocolate dipped strawberries and cappuccino chocolate shooter cups from Sutton Place Hotel. This hotel has the best all you can eat chocolate buffet for $15 (includes a drink) on weekends! We have indulged once. Need I say more.

With full bellies after that, we made the long trek home, just in tine for Big Brother ;)