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 ;)

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Menu Planning

I'm very tired today thanks to a certain late night date with Harry Potter. So because of that I feel like being very brief today, no chit-chat for this one.

Oh, and I still have all those wonderful recipes to share, and they are growing bu the minute, but I just can't find the time. It is driving me crazy!

Tuesday: Mother-in-laws house for Brother-in-laws birthday celebration
Wednesday: Polynesian burger. These would be the same ones we were supposed to have last week but never got to!
Thursday: Taste of Edmonton. This I am really excited for, it is an annual event our city, but you will have to tune in after Thursday to hear more about it.
Friday: Friends birthday BBQ
Saturday: Grilled cheese, don't worry they won't be boring at all!
Sunday: Pasta and lazy meat balls.
Monday: Night off!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Chicken Curry Pasta

Okay, I should be reading Harry at the moment, but I needed to take a little break. Shhh don't tell anyone.

In our house we have all have a special love for pasta. Really though who doesn't love it?
There is a versatility about it like none other. Not only that but it can be as simple and straight forwards as you want or you can easily spice things up.

We of course all have our favorite way of indulging in it too. Lilly for example will only eat pasta with nothing but Parmesan cheese all over it. Hubby and I love a bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce, and it is a staple in our home. But, every now and again you need to change things up, and pasta is one of those things I feel confident enough to create new recipes on my own...very slap and dash as my mother would say. So I created this recipe last night and my wonderful Hubby and I both severely over ate due to it being so incredibly good! He is already requesting that I make it again, and we just finished the left overs today! Super quick and easy too if you are looking for a weeknight meal.

Chicken in a curry cream sauce pasta:

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Olive oil
Cook pasta according to package directions

In skillet heat oil and cook chicken strips until no longer pink. Remove from skillet and place off to the side keeping warm.

Adding more oil to pan fry garlic and onion until translucent. Add tomato and cook until tomato starts to soften. Pour in wine and saute until wine is almost gone.

Add curry powder to onion and tomato mixture, fry until fragrant. Add cream, and gently mix together. Simmer until sauce coats the back of the spoon. Return chicken to sauce, and stir until well coated and warmed through.

Serve over pasta and enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The Great Blueberry event

I heard the promo on the radio for the blueberry event this past Sunday and instantly got giddy! I have been waiting for this all year as I love blueberries, and I really love blueberry pie.

Now don't get to excited about this 'event', as it is only one of the local grocery chains putting cases of blueberries on sale. Although it is a good thing I dashed over there this morning, because apparently due to weather conditions there is a limit of one case per customer. Thats fine by me, I just need 1 case. BUT, by 11:30 am they were GONE. Apparently I am not the only one who loves blueberries :)

So this afternoon with my coveted blueberries I of course baked a pie. Doesn't matter that it is the hottest day of the year, my place can't get any hotter. I did the same thing last year too. Everyone thinks I am nuts when I do it, but they sure don't complain much when they are eating.

Pie Crust:
(This is seriously the easiest pie crust ever, and it always turns out light and flaky)
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water
Mix flour and salt together. Mix with lard using a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in ice water using fork until dough holds together. Divide into two balls. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to desired size to fit pie pan.

Blueberry Filling:

  • 4.5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen works just fine)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp butter
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt and cornstarch together. Place blueberries in pie dish and pour sugar mixture over top. Dot top with butter. Cover top of pie with second half of crust (I did a lattice technique by weaving strips of dough).

Bake at 400 F for approximatley 60 mintues, or until golden brown. Watch that edges don't start to burn and if needed cover with tin foil and continue to cook.

This pie does need to set in order to not be too runny. You also may find that you need to play with the amount of cornstarch you add to ensure it is not too runny.


Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Menu Planning

Ok first of all I apologize. I have collection of posts pending, and it is growing by the minute, but I just can't find the time to sit down and get them done! I am trying and hopefully they will be here soon. Cross your fingers everyone.

This week looks not to bad. We still have our heat wave continuing, but that won't stop me :)

Tuesday: Sushi :)
Wednesday: It is my baby brother's 19th birthday, so we are celebrating at my parents
Scallop and veggie skewers with wild rice
Friday: 90210 marathon at a friends :)
Saturday: Polynesian Burgers
Sunday: Curry cream pasta (testing out that creative muscle again)
Night off

Have a good week!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Heat Wave

We are in the middle of a heat wave at the moment, mid 30's or so (for my American readers I believer that is in the 90's). I am sure many will laugh at what we classify as 'hot' but I live in a climate where it is more common to hit the -30's than +30's and the average temperature for this time of year is normally low 20's.

Okay enough with the weather talk I know, you all want food. Last week, before the temperature rose, it was actually on he cool side. I curled up in the evening by myself, my daughter sound asleep, and watched TV with a mug of my favorite hot chocolate in hand. I know I am crazy, hot chocolate in summer. It was absolutely perfect though, and I have to share it now so when the weather turns cold everyone will have this recipe ready to go ;)

Hot Chocolate: (Serves 1)

  • 30g best dark chocolate
  • 350ml milk (to be honest I take what ever mug I am using and fill it with milk so I have the perfect amount)
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Optional : 2 tbsp rum (Alas I had none)
In small pan over stove heat milk while breaking in chocolate into pieces and adding, also add honey, sugar and cinnamon stick. Whisk in vanilla and rum once chocolate is melted. Remove cinnamon stick and pour into you favorite mug and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Menu Day

How come the week I finally feel like cooking again, I don't have the time or opportunity to do so? Granted the reasons I don't get to cook are are good ones, like going to see Harry Potter, but still. Murphy's law as always!

Tuesday: Pizza (and I am getting my nails done and grocery shopping tonight)
Movie Night!!!
Dinner at Mother-in-laws with NY company
Night Off
Green Fatoush and stuffed potato patties (I am really looking forward to this one)
Bouguignonne skewers (Hubby is really looking forward to this one)
Night Off

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Muffin time

My Hubby, had the lucky job of grocery shopping last week. It was his first trip alone and he did very well, he stuck to the list exactly! Problem, however is I can't remember everything that needs to be on the list. The majority of the time I see something in the store and remember that our house is running low. For example, this week butter. We were already completely out, and it wasn't on the list so he didn't get anymore. Really I know it isn't the biggest crisis in the world, it would just mean I wouldn't be baking this week. But then last night Lilly was in bed so early and I had the whole house to myself; how could I not spend some time in the kitchen? I vaguely remember that some recipies used oil in place of butter, so I dug out my copy of I'm just here for more food and perused the pages. It didn't take long until I found something that fit the bill!

These muffins are definitely not like the muffins you get with your morning latte. They resemble in fact early muffins, and are much coarser and not quite a moist as you maybe used to. Delicious non the less, and gone way to quickly for my liking!

Old-Fashioned Muffins:
Makes 12 standard muffins: (Adapted from Alton Brown)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 F

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in one bowl and all others (minus chocolate chips) in separate bowl.

Add wet to dry and stir until just comes together, not smooth. then add chocolate chips. It is a very, very thick batter, don't worry.

Drop batter into prepared muffin tins, and bake for 18-20 minutes.

So quick and easy, I even was able to watch the sunset from my balcony while I ate one all by myself ;)

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The quintessential summer food

Burger of course! Was there truly any doubt in your mind. Quick, easy to cook on the BBQ on a hot day, and always yummy in your tummy. These ones were even healthy, shocking I know, because we used ground turkey instead of ground beef! They left our taste buds extremely happy too!

Turkey burgers with peanut sauce (From Eat Shrink and be merry)
  • 1/2 bottled peanut sauce (light if possible)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp grated ginger root
  • 500g ground turkey
  • 1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 minced green onions
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • Buns of choice
Combine peanut sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon zest and ginger root in small bowl, mix and put aside

In large bowl combine turkey, bread crumbs, onion, cilantro, egg, salt and pepper and 3 tbsp of sauce. Mix and form into patties, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat bbq, grilling for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink. During last 2 minutes of cooking brush burger with reserved sauce.

Sever on toasted buns, with favorite toppings. We just added lettuce and tomato, really they had so much flavor you don't need anything else.


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Menu Planning

I am feeling very disorganized this week. But that probably has more to do with the current state of my office, and everyone else being on vacation! Oh well, I think I finally have the menu for the week figured out. I am quite sad because I have been instructed by my Realtor to not cook anything with too strong an odor until the condo sells. That means no curries :(

Here we go:

Tuesday: Well it is my anniversary, did you really think I was going to cook tonight ;)
Wednesday: Asparagus Ceviche courtesy of Leslie, our famous foodtv blogger
Thursday: Turk du Soleil, this would be from Eat, Shrink and be Merry of course (Turkey burgers)
Friday: Night off
Saturday: Yakatori beef skewers and marinated veggies
Sunday: Chicken Teriwacky, yup another Eat, Shrink and be Merry
Monday: Night off

Have a good week everyone.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Oops, Forgot it was a holiday!

Silly me wasn't thinking last week when I was menu planning. I got to cook dinner tonight for Hubby, because it was a long weekend! So I had to so the kitchen scramble again, this really is starting to feel way to familiar. Anyway, I got creative tonight, and it paid off again. I better be careful with this though taking too make risks, and I am bound to get caught soon!

Shrimp, Avocado and Pesto Pasta:
  • 1 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce (ours only had about 1/3 cup, as it was all I had left, but it definitely could have used more)
  • 1 avocado cut up
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta of choice

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil in skillet and add onion cooking until soft. Add shrimp, squirt of lime juice, and pesto sauce to skillet cooking until shrimp are pink. If needed add some of pasta water to skillet. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.

Squeeze remaining lime juice over avocado, and add to pasta. Toss and enjoy!