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.