Saturday, 31 December 2011

Breaking Bread

On New Year's Eve I am a fan of staying at home and steering clear of expensive parties, hard to get taxis, and high heels. 

It's going to the same old bar tomorrow night, but without the $100 entrance fee. 

Who wants to stand in cold rain in the middle of the night hoping that a taxi stops to pick you up? 

And well, maybe I will wear my heels at home because they make my legs look more toned and I can always take them off if they get uncomfortable. 

Plus, there are no lines for drinks at my house and there's always plenty of food. I am going to have bubbly wine, smoked salmon, cheese, veggies and dip, chicken wings, and lots of other easy as pie snacks throughout the night. 

And then for later, I have made some amazing buns for a midnight meal of leftover holiday ham sandwiches. I know I'll be hungry for late night snacks and I am planning ahead because they aren't aren't going to be any local deliveries happening at midnight!

Keep reading to find out how to make your own Sweet Potato Buns. If you start now, there should be enough time for the buns to rise nicely.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Skinny Dipping

Veggies are so healthy and fill me up really well, but sometimes I just get really sick of them and need something to dip them into. The problem with store bought dips is that they're usually fattening. Did you know you might be better off ordering a hamburger opposed to a salad at some fast food restaurants because of the dressing? 

But homemade dips can be really healthy and tasty. Plus, the simple hummus (as you've already seen in my posts about regular hummus and spinach hummus) can be twisted into so many creations. 

Here's another yummy version of hummus. This one stays creamier after it's refrigerated and it incorporates any leftover holiday sweet potatoes that may still be cluttering up your fridge too!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Be Merry, Berry, and Bright

Christmas may be over, but it's still a holiday today so enjoy it! Eat, drink, be berry berry merry.

And if you haven't eaten breakfast yet, try this yummy French toast with blackberry syrup.

I was so caught up in making sure I had all the veggies I could need for Christmas dinner that I forgot all about making sure I had enough fixings for some holiday breakfasts. I had my French toast in a frying before I even sniffed around my fridge for maple syrup. And of course there was none inside.

Luckily my freezer is stuffed full of local blackberries and after making this breakfast, I might just "forget" to buy maple syrup again!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Treats for Santa

I know what Santa ate at my house last night, it's always the same thing. Gingerbread cookies!

My family bakes gingerbread cookies together every Christmas Eve and then throughout the day we gather in the kitchen to decorate and taste our creations. 

We use a straw and poke holes in the heads of some the cookies before they're baked, so that they can hang from the tree. And everyone has to make a gingerbread man the resembles themselves in some way. 

Keep reading to see what my family made my cookie look like this year because I'm not home this Christmas. And also keep reading to see how I make my cookies.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Slice of Torture

Waiting for Santa to arrive is a little bit like torture, but I am talking about what I had for dinner tonight. What I have every single Christmas Eve is Torture.

Maybe I should start another way because it's sounding almost like I've become the Grinch...

Tourtiere is a traditional Christmas Eve meat pie that originated in Quebec. The name is derived from the now extinct Passenger Pigeon or tourte in French, what used be commonly used in the pie.

If I had been eating pigeon, I might have still thought my dinner was torture, but I make mine with ground pork. When I was child though, none of my siblings or I liked our pork pie and we called it Torture.

The name stuck and so we still call it Torture. I didn't think I'd ever make it myself, but when my mom broke her back a few years ago I made my first one.

I wasn't a great cook and I had no clue how to make our special meal, so I looked up a recipe and threw in things I thought might taste good. The outcome was great and now I am the official Torture maker.

Want my recipe? Just keep on reading. :)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Traditions are important to me, especially during the holidays, but sometimes I like to break out and try something new. 

I don't mean I want to start abandoning my Christmas tree and decorating with bushes or serving tofu instead of my turkey. No, the big things will the way they always were. And I will tell you that the day I stop putting up a tree is the day I've gone crazy!

But maybe some of the sides will change and so will my table setting. Those items aren't something really traditional to me and I like seeming a little spontaneous for a traditional meal. It keeps things fresh. :) 

First, take a look at my favourite scalloped potato recipe. It's easy to prepare it in advance and tastes as great as mashed potatoes do. 

Then, take a peek at how I'm setting my table this year. It's a riff off the korknisse or "cork elves" popularized by blogs a few years ago and brought back into light by Canadian Living this year. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Or in English...

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!
They are green when summer days are bright,
They are green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!

I would love to hear someone singing Christmas carols right about now, but instead I think I will have to settle for eating some Christmas cookies. It's a dark night, almost the longest night of a year, and no one is venturing out to sing at my house. 

However, you never know what's going to happen tomorrow, I mean the days have just started getting longer so maybe someone will be singing soon!

To celebrate the fact that the days are finally getting longer and my favourite German carol, I've made my favourite Christmas cookie - German Moons. 

Plus, below my recipe I've got another treat for you. I went around Victoria on a Christmas lights tour and some of the houses were really dressed up!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian and I know far too many people planning on vacationing in Hawaii for the holidays this year. 

Since I will be staying in rainy old Victoria this Christmas, I decided to make a quick Hawaiian style dinner to try and make me feel a little less jealous of the fun in the sun crowd I know. 

The meal certainly reminded me of I think Hawaiian food should taste like. And maybe if I'm really good for the last few days of the year, I'll get a chance to taste the real thing sometime soon!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Take a Guac Around the Block

This time of year I always love snacking and nibbling on all the goodies at holiday parties. I tell myself it's ok because it's Christmas, but when the holidays are over I usually notice that my pants a tiny bit tighter.

So today's post is my yummy and lower fat version of a favourite snack food and also an encouragement to walk around the block at least once this holiday season.

Hopefully your pants will fit perfectly and you'll still be able to enjoy all cookies, cheese, and wine you want.

And who knows, maybe you'll see some festive holiday lights on your walk too?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Press Release

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Ok... so what I'm about to share with you isn't exactly pressing news.

But it is delicious news and one of the easiest to make cookies that look like they took hours to prepare.

That caught your eye didn't it?

So, my first question is: do you have a cookie press?

If you answered yes, congratulations because you're in luck! But, if you answered no it's ok too! My cookie press was only $12.99 and it's really easy to use.

Let's get going on this recipe. Christmas is just days away!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Buttering You Up

Now is the time to start filling your freezer with food for the holidays, at least that's what I am going to do this weekend.

I don't want to be baking, cooking, and cleaning during the real festivities. I want to eating, drinking, and partaking in the festivities!

So, today I'm cleaning out my freezer and making my traditional Christmas Eve lunch butternut squash soup - with a twist. Usually there's no curry, but I thought this year needed a little something extra!

I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Garlic-y Goodness

When you think about tomato sauce, what comes to mind?

If you're thinking of a jar or can of processed sauce, you need to read further. And even if you didn't, keep on reading because this sauce is easy, delicious, and healthy too!

I use jarred sauce when I need it for pizza or a last minute dinner, but I love to make this sauce for pasta if I am able to plan ahead an hour or so.

And if you love roasted garlic and tomatoes, you will too. And let's be honest, who doesn't love roasted garlic and tomatoes?

So let's get cracking with the star of this dish- roasted garlic.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Roasted and Toasted

I love winter cooking because it's full of comfort food. But that doesn't mean I don't miss summer food during the winter too. 

One of the things I especially miss is barbecuing. I love the smell of the grill and the taste of gently charred food. Only gently charred, and it's always done on purpose. :)

I know you're probably thinking that I mean steaks and burgers, but actually one of my favourite things to grill is asparagus. 

I know that sounds weird, but once you try it - you'll be hooked. I'll be sure to show you my tips when it gets warmer. 

Here's a way to make asparagus in your oven. It's sure to make your dreams of summer grilling come true. 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Twist and Shout

I love throwing a holiday party and I love twisting up one of my favourite recipes to make something new and exciting.

One of my favourite appetizers to twist into something new is also my simplest - a puff pasty tart baked in a mini muffin tin.

To me, using as few ingredients as possible is key when making bite sized treats because you know you're going to have to make a lot of them. But making all those ingredients mesh perfectly can be a challenge all on it's own.

Here is a perfect holiday quick fix for an appetizer party. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

I think I got my love for the Christmas season from my mom. She has so many traditions and each and every one of them are special to me. 

One of her traditions has to do with choosing a particular kind of tree. She would bundle all four of us kids into the van, drive to the tree farm, and off we would run to find perfect one. 

We wouldn't look for the biggest tree. We wouldn't look for the straightest tree. We wouldn't even look for the prettiest tree. What we would look for would be a tree with a bird's nest hidden in the branches.

I am not exactly sure what my mom liked about trees with a bird's nest but, if I had to guess, it must have been because what a bird's nest symbolized. To me a bird's nest symbolizes love and life; a whole family of birds grew up in the tree. 

What could symbolize Christmas more than love and life? 

Now, I will forever look for a tree with bird's nest hidden in it when I am choosing my Christmas tree. 

And I will have to ask my mom why she always loved a tree a with bird's nest too!

Here are one of my mom's favourite Christmas cookies, Bird's Nest Cookies. And if you're not a big fan of coconut, try using chopped up peanuts in place, they're delicious that way too!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Quick and Easy

My Christmas tree is decorated and just like every year I had to make a bunch of snacks to enjoy for the party because it takes a few hours to decorate the tree and you need your energy to make everything look perfect.

This year I didn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen so everything I made had to be quick and easy. But, most importantly, it all had to taste great too.

I knew I wanted to make a spinach dip for one of my appetizers, but I was hoping to make something a little healthier than a cheesy baked concoction. I wasn't the most concerned about the calories in general, I just wanted to be able to enjoy a few cookies too.

Here's my version of a healthy spinach dip using ricotta in place of the common cheddar. It's great for veggies and anything else you want to dip into it. Plus, no baking is required so it's much faster to whip up than the baked version!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Acadian Tradition

You may or may not know that I lived in the Maritimes for seven years and during some of that time I worked in tourism. I got to know a lot about the history and culture of the Maritimes and really enjoyed my time there.

One of my favourite things to learn about in the Maritimes was the rich Acadian history. My interest may have stemmed from the what I learned about Acadian cooking, but it developed into learning about the history too.

Acadians were French colonists that refused to sign allegiance to the British during the 1700s and were expelled from living in the Maritimes because of it. Many Acadians were killed or died from disease during the expulsion and many others travelled down to Louisiana and made up the Cajun culture we still see there today.

Luckily for Canada, thousands of Acadians gradually returned home to the Maritimes and brought with them their culture and signature dishes.

You may think that Acadian cooking would show a lot of Cajun spices like we see in Louisiana, but actually Acadian cooking changed to Cajun when they arrived in Louisiana. Traditional Acadian cooking used a lot of root vegetables that could be stored during cold Canadian winters and this recipe is no exception to the rule.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Cheer

It's my favourite day of the year tomorrow and I am very excited!

You might wonder why I love December 3 so much, but it's not the date that's especially great for me. It's more about what I get do tomorrow and that the first weekend in December has finally arrived!

If you haven't guessed yet, I am heading out to get my Christmas tree tomorrow! And I cannot wait for the smell of pine and the sounds of unwrapping special ornaments to be at my house.

I can hear cheers from some of you, but I know there might be groans from a few others too. And while I do realize that my love for Christmas is much greater than most people's, I won't give up on you groaners until you love the holiday like do.

So, cheerers be happy and groaners get ready to smile because I am here to spread Christmas cheer! And I am going do this in the form a fun craft and a tasty cookie.

First, here is a craft project I worked on last year. It's practically free, environmentally friendly, and great family fun.

Just a small warning before you begin though, your cheeks may hurt from smiling at the end of this craft.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Golden Nuggets

I was thinking about how I haven't shown anything Luke has made during one of his ventures to the kitchen in awhile. And then I really thought about why I haven't...

It's because he hasn't made anything in quite some time!

So instead of pushing Luke into making something new, I have decided to show one of his favourite side dishes.

It's one of my favourite foods, a potato. But it's done in a way that almost tastes like a chip, making it better than a normal spud! Just be sure to cook them long enough, there's not much worse than raw potato!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

That Other Thanksgiving

My fellow Canadians know how I feel when I say that other Thanksgiving. But I am not sure if my American friends know what I mean because the Canadian media providers probably don't promote the Canadian holiday as much as the American providers promote their own.

What I'm talking about is the fact that Canadians already celebrated Thanksgiving last month! We had the family get together, we ate the turkey, and we got the tee-shirt. There aren't even any leftovers in our fridges now.

At least I hope the leftovers are gone...

So I'm not jealous, we gave thanks already. But I am curious as to why we have different dates for the holiday?

It can't be because Canada is so darn cold, can it?

Yes it can!

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated as a time to give thanks for the harvest and the Canadian frost comes earlier than the American frost, so naturally the Canadian harvest follows suit.

That's all there is to it.

But now that I've thought about it... I am a bit jealous... Not about the extra holiday (that would be nice), but more about the fact that Americans are probably chowing down on leftover turkey sandwiches right now....

What would you do for one?

Well, just read a little more and you won't have to do much else!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

That's what little girls are made of. And also this recipe. And also Christmas!

Every year on Christmas morning my family enjoys cinnamon buns while unwrapping presents. In the past we have always bought Pillsbury cinnamon buns and just opened the packages of buns before throwing them in the oven. They always tasted great, but I wanted to learn how to make my own to make this Christmas extra special.

I looked around for recipes to use as inspiration, but all I found were complicated recipes that were going to take far too long to rise on Christmas morning.

I could have felt defeated and just bought the regular staple of Pillsbury, but I knew there had to be something out there for impatient homemade cinnamon bun eaters.

Right when I verging on giving up, I found it. I whipped up something similar with items I had in my kitchen and here's the result.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

But it's warm inside... Especially with your oven baking treats!

My favourite time of year to bake is right now. Now is the time I start digging through my collection of traditional Christmas cookies and bars, as well as reading magazines and trying out new variations of recipes I find to add to my collection. 

Soon my freezer will be full of delicious snacks and I'll be able to pull out a few containers to defrost a platter of offerings for months. That's one of my favourite things to at Christmas - snack and share snacks with friends. 

Here is this year's first try at a new twist on a brownie. I know purists may turn up their nose because it's white, but this brownie is a winter brownie and it needs to fit the colour palate :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Built in Sauce

I love making dinner easy, but I don't love just popping a ready made meal into the oven every night. 

Once and awhile those dinners are a fantastic time saver, but if there are way too many preservatives and far too much salt to eat them every night. 

Plus, I always find that I want at least two of the so-called "servings", which doubles up my calories too. So I just try and stay away from that kind of easy meal if possible. 

Instead, I like to find easy meals with a small number of ingredients that mostly come from the produce section and the meat section of my grocery store. 

Here's a simple side dish that you can throw together in a few minutes to bake along side a piece of pork. It couldn't take longer than a frozen meal to cook (unless you use tend to use the microwave), it's cheaper to buy, it's healthier (even with the sugar I've thrown in for a treat), and it's got a built in sauce. 

Who could say no to that?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Asian Sensation

Sometimes words mean different things to different people. And sometimes words can go from meaning one thing to something completely different one day to the next.

I'm going to test you with one word now.


So what did you think of?

If you had asked me a few years ago, I might have responded immediately with tea! But over the last few years the word Oolong changed into something different.

What Oolong now means to mean is a little hard to describe, so here's a quick picture to show you.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cut to the Chase

I have seen people cut pineapple in some of the most odd ways.

Some people don't seem to see that there is a core that runs down the middle, they just want to taste the fruit and slice it up as fast as possible. Some take the top off first and some leave it on for a kind of decoration. Some are particular and want every last bit of the spiky skin off, and some don't care.

My grandfather was one of the people that cared about getting each spiky bite of skin removed and used the scooping end of a potato peeler to help him out. The result looked less than stellar and if we're being honest, slightly chewed.

So here's a way to achieve the (almost) perfect bite of pineapple. And it won't have you going to a can!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stir Crazy

Ahh, rainy season. The days of running from my home, to the car, into work, and back again. 

Will I ever get to see sunshine? Will I ever be outdoors (and dry) again? 

The answer remains no, if I continue to live in Victoria, BC. But I do love the lack of snow here, so it's a bit of a compromise. 

So, I guess I am inside and going a little stir crazy for now. But, luckily I have cooking to stir up my day. 

Here's a recipe that needs stirring. Hopefully you're crazy for it. :)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

All You Need is Cheese

Have you ever rewritten lyrics to a popular song to make them your own? 

I have. And I don't mean just changing a woman's name to Sarah to make the Backstreet Boys sing about how much they love me. I did much more than that!

In a high school biology class my friends and I went all out and changed the lyrics of Sugar, Sugar to tell a story about the cell membrane. We kept the tune the same and it was amazing. 

I won't sing the whole thing, but the chorus went a bit like this: "the cell membrane, do do do do do do, oh the cell membrane."

You know, I actually can't remember much more than that, but I am sure you could recreate it I spent enough time trying. 

Then, there was also the time I created a rap about Magnesium. 

I was a 16 year old white girl and I created my own beat. I think you can guess how that went... And you can probably guess I didn't sit with the cool kids at lunch too...

Anyway, this recipe is so easy that I wanted to toss out a challenge. You will have so much time on your hands that you will need it. 

Use the tune to All You Need is Love, but change "love" to "cheese". I don't know for sure, but I think this challenge might be even easier than the recipe!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pesto Change-o

If someone asked me to choose my favourite flavour, I would have to think about it for awhile.

Of course there's chocolate, everyone loves that. But I don't think it's my favourite because there are so many flavours I would choose to eat over chocolate; cheese, roast chicken, vanilla, peanut butter, cherries, lemon. I think I could continue listing things forever, but I'll finish up with one of my true favourites - basil.

I love basil and I can easily choose it as my favourite herb flavour. It can go with both savoury treats like tomatoes and chicken, or sweet treats like strawberries.

But today, it's going with walnuts and Parmesan cheese.

You guessed it. I'll going to flip the switch on my magic wand (my food processor) and turn basil into my favourite version of pesto.

Friday, 11 November 2011

A New Me

Over the last few weeks I have been raising money to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society at work. I think the Canadian Cancer Society is a very worthy cause, and so must a lot of other people from my work because I raised a lot of money!

But money won't be all I send in, I also cut my hair to be used to make a wig. I've done the cut three times now, and even though I always look forward to a fresh new look, I'm always a little nervous right before it happens. 

The first time I did the cut I was in high school and I decided I wanted a "cool" style. That was a mistake because I looked like a wannabe rock star. The second time I was just finished university and I let the hairdresser cut my hair far too short. Again, a mistake. This time I didn't even need to go to a hair stylist afterwards, I actually liked it directly after the cut. 

Maybe it's a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The first time I got too hot a cut (the rock star), the second time a cold cut (my neck was bare due to the shortness), but the third time was was just right. 

Anyway, here's my before look:

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I know it's 10 days after Halloween and I am just getting around to show you what I did with my pumpkin, but hopefully my blood soup helped you enjoy the holiday. It sure tasted great to me!

But I think showing you my pumpkin now will be ok when you see what I turned it into.

I think your eyes will light up like Jack-O-Lanturns, your stomachs will growl like they smell candy apples, and you'll smile like your costume turned out exactly as planned.

So here goes!

Happy Belated Halloween!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Introducing the Muffie

Remember you heard is here first everyone, the muffie has arrived!

And what is a muffie?

Do you really need to ask?

Obviously it's something edible, or else I wouldn't be interested in it. And obviously it's delicious, or else I wouldn't be sharing it. So clearly it's something you are going to want to know about.

Ok, you don't have to wait another moment.

The muffie has arrived!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Roll Back

The long weekend, what a beautiful thing.

While I do know this weekend wasn't a true long weekend, it was almost better than an extra day. It was just such an unexpected treat to sleep in or get something done that I wouldn't otherwise have had time to do. 

Plus, the entire next week is going to feel better because I'll be getting up an hour later, biking to work an hour later, and ok, so maybe getting home an hour isn't so great. But you get my point. There are lots of great things associated with the clocks rolling back. 

One thing you could have done with your extra hour was make Cabbage Rolls. Check out my recipe if you're in need of a great one! 

Friday, 4 November 2011

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Everyone loves apples. Teachers, dentists, doctors, moms, and fairy tale witches.

Johnny Appleseed walked barefoot for miles to plant seeds so the fruit could be enjoyed by the masses. And Adam and Eve even risked their lives for the forbidden fruit. 

But did you know that the real proverb from the 1800s went like this: "Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."

Apples are great for you. They help your immune system, reduce cholesterol, and help to clean your teeth by killing off bacteria. 

But, the phrase was actually coined because, in Old English, the word apple referred to any round fruit that grew on trees. So it meant eat healthy fruit and you'll be healthy.

If we can take this one step farther and use the word apple for any round fruit or vegetable, this recipe will really keep the doctor away! 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Chick Night

After a long week of work, it's great to veg out in comfy clothes and just laugh with your girlfriends.

Work can be stressful and being with my friends helps me to relax and smile.

You can watch a movie, do pedicures, or just enjoy drinks, snacks, and laughs.

Actually, to be honest, I don't think I've ever gotten together with friends and not had snacks...

One things I always like to serve is a veggie tray because that works for all kinds of diets. But I can't serve my friends veggies alone, so I like to serve the veggies with dips.

If you're ever stuck on ideas, try this one. It's quick to make and tastes great.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I Vant To Suck Your Blood

I am a straight and narrow person. Most of the time I don't wear a lot of makeup, my skin is 85% covered, and my hair is my natural colour, long, and straight.

But all that changes on Halloween. If I dress up, I cover myself in makeup, depending on my costume the ratio of my clothes and skin may change, and my hair is never the same colour or style.

I didn't dress up this year and sadly we didn't get a single trick or treater, but I did watch the costume parade where I work. And it was great.

Snow White and his Seven Dwarfs marched and sang about being off to work. Four Black Swan ballerinas demonstrated their talents to a choreographed routine. One man dressed as he would normally except he showed off large fangs when he smiled ominously. And then Michael Jackson and his slew of zombies danced to Thriller.

My favourites were the zombies and the vampire because what's Halloween without a little blood and gore?

If you're interested in a little extra blood and gore, try my Blood Soup with Bone Croutons. It's great anytime of year.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Trick or Treat

I love Halloween.

There's the fun of dressing up, tons of goodies to snack on, scary movies to watch, and best of all I love getting creative in the kitchen.

You might be thinking that I mean baking candy apples or caramel popcorn, but I actually mean getting creative and cooking dinner!

A friend told me how she was at a party that served upscale Halloween food for adults. There was everything from squid ink pasta with shrimp and a spicy red pepper sauce to pumpkin stuffed tortellini with blackened cod.

Hearing about those treats made me excited and I knew I had to get creative in my kitchen this year. I took a slightly different route with my own ideas, but I might try one of those treats in 2012!

Black Sesame Crusted Fish with Pumpkin Gnocchi and Fried Green Tomato "Eyes"

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chili Today... and Chili Tomorrow

Victoria is cold and wet in the fall and all I want for dinner is something that's not a lot of work and will warm me up.

These two recipes do both for me. The first uses my favourite invention, the slow cooker, and the second is an easy recipe that makes a lot for even easier leftovers.

So I guess that means the title of this post should read "Pulled Pork Today, Chili Tomorrow, and More Chili After That". But that doesn't really have the same ring does it?

Let's start with the basic Pulled Pork with my quick BBQ sauce.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Ode to Steve

When I think of my brother and food, I think of two things.

Number 1, he eats a lot. Number 2, he likes Porcupine Meatballs.

I'm sure you've heard of this dinner before but incase you haven't, these are the little meatballs rolled in spiky rice with a gooey cheese centre and a tomato sauce.

My mom got this recipe from a neighbour and it's changed over the years to suit our taste buds, but she claims to have named it herself.

Can you believe that my mom thought that the name was hers? I felt bad when I told her I Googled it and saw that thousands of people before her have named it the same thing.

This doesn't change how yummy they are though!

But before I get carried away with teasing my mom, here's my brother's favourite recipe.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My Big Fat Italian Wedding

Really, I am a morning a morning person. But on cold mornings, I am anything but that. 

I hate pulling myself out from under the covers in the morning and feeling a chill on my skin. I'm not even tired anymore, but I feel cold and I don't want to move. 

So on days like today, I try to look on the bright side and think about warm things. 

One of those things is a big bowl of steamy soup. And I love soup. 

I love soup so much that I included one of my favourite warm and cozy soup recipes in my card at a bridal shower this weekend. 

And what could be more perfect for the occasion than Italian Wedding Soup? 

But you're not getting just any Italian Wedding Soup. You're getting my Big Fat Italian Wedding Soup. It's chunky and delicious, and it might even beat out the original version I gave to my friend. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Muy Bueno

If your Spanish is like mine, you might need a little help with translating this blog post's title.

But, if you speak Spanish like a native, you'll already know that it means very good!

And that's what this post is all about, something Mexican that tastes very good!

So let's get down to it and enjoy a bowl of very good Mexican Tortilla Soup before it gets cold. :)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

In a Bowl with a Spoon

I like to tease my mom because her favourite dinners are leftovers that she eats in a bowl with spoon on the sofa.

My mom is such a great cook so, at first, it sounded crazy to me that leftovers were her favourite meal. But then I tried it and realized that everything tastes so much better when there's no work involved. 

And before you decide that I am going to have pictures demonstrating how to reheat leftovers, don't worry. I have a one pot meal that reinvents leftovers to show you today. 

But you can eat the meal in a bowl with a spoon. 

And since there's only one pot (with a steamer basket to steam the veggies on top), there's barely any cleanup either!

Friday, 21 October 2011

World's Best Sandwich

If this sandwich didn't come to your mind when you read the title of this post, we're on different wavelengths.

Such different wavelengths that you will need to keep on reading so you can learn something very important. Obviously what the best sandwich truly is... 

This sandwich is so good that you can only have it a few times a year. You might think it's a lot of work, but I think of it as the best leftovers ever. And you're going to have to have it at home because I've never seen it on a menu before. 

Not even at Subway. 

Here it is!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Father of All Dips

Ok... So I took a little liberty with the title of this post, and maybe no one has ever called this recipe the Father of All Dips. But they should, and not only for the taste. 

I'm talking about Baba Ganoush and while I love the smoky flavour of the slow roasted garlic and eggplant, the word Baba actually translates to father in Arabic. 

Mother's believed that if they fed their daughter's this dip, they would attract husbands with similar attributes to their fathers. 

I don't know how true that is, but you know it's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so maybe the daughter's just learned their mother's recipes after tasting the yummy dips! 

Plus, I think someone's father just loved this dip and that's partially why it's called Baba Ganoush. Maybe someone named Father Ganoush!

I hope you love my creamy version!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Easy Leftovers

Lots of leftover turkey meals feel just like a boring old plate of the same stuff as the night before.

I hate being bored with food. I think being bored would make me dislike cooking. So that's why I like to change things up and make the old into something new.

This is a fresh new dish that makes turkey leftovers sing with the happiness of a new meal, but really it's just a plate with leftovers from the night before.

Plus it's easy as can be, because after cooking a big meal with a turkey -- you deserve it!

Curious yet?

Here you go!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bringing the 90s Back

I was born in the 80s so I don't remember a lot about the 90s, but I do know that it's usually not a good thing when people say a meal looks like it's from the 90s.

Usually, the colours, the old designs, and the food pairings of so-called 90s food just feel dull and uninteresting to us now.

Hopefully you agree with me when I say that it's a good thing when I am bringing the 90s back with my sweet and delicious Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Mash Up

Some of the best things in life are a combination of two great things.

You've got songs like the ones from my favourite TV show Glee. I love the one pairing Beyonce's Halo with Katrina and the Wave's Walking on Sunshine!

There's the Dark Side of Oz with the Wizard of Oz movie providing the visuals and Pink Floyd's the Dark Side of the Moon providing the sound.

Then there are books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That mash up needs no explanation. But if you haven't read it, I recommend it!

Finally, there are other mash ups like jorts...

Luckily for you, my mash up is nothing like an old pair of jean shorts...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Dressing for Success

I know appearances aren't everything, but a first impression does count. And if your first impression isn't all that great, you might not get everything you wanted.

The first glance determines a lot. You look at something and decide whether or not you want to get a taste of it, you get a lasting impression and that might affect the taste you have of it...

Wait... You don't think I'm talking about a job interview or something do you?

I'm not. Don't you know where you are? You're reading Delish in a Dish! And I'm talking about food!

Food impressions count just as much as people impressions, maybe more because at least people can talk. The only thing food can offer you before you take a bite is how it looks and how it smells.

So I try my best to make food look appetizing. Hopefully you'll agree that a picture of my most recent dressing recipe offers enough to make you want to take a bite. And if not, let me tell you that the smell was incredible!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Classically Trained

I was classically trained to cook, but not in the way you might be picturing...

There were no white hats in my kitchen. I didn't go to a cooking school. I have never worked in a restaurant. And I certainly haven't won any Michelin Stars.

I have big dreams, but I haven't done any of those things.

Instead, I was trained in the most classical way possible. I'm talking about how you learn real cooking, real love-filled cooking.

My mom taught me.

I'm sure you could see that coming, but I had to spell it out anyway for people not as smart as you.

So when you read the two following recipes I know you might think that they're just regular pies, but remember that a classically trained home cook made them. Plus, I won an award for one of my pies once.

That's right, I won an award. I was in the newspaper and everything!

I might have won the prize for youngest contestant, but who cares. I was around 5 years old and I took home the prize! It may have been grocery store treats, but I won and that's all I needed!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Let's Talk Turkey

That's right everyone, I am going to speak plainly about how to make a delicious turkey dinner. Well.. the bird part anyway!

I may have made some mistakes in the past, but I think I have learned from my mistakes and now am pretty accomplished at making a holiday meal. 

Here are a few of my top tips for making a turkey (and how to easily carve the bird).

What says Thanksgiving the most?

I guess turkey does, but I'm getting to that soon...

So other than turkey, what says Thanksgiving the most?

Brussel sprouts!

And I am one of those crazy people that have always loved them... But don't ignore me now! They don't have to have that old cabbage taste, not if you don't overcook them. So listen to me and you might end up loving this veggie!

But before I tell you how I cook them now, here's a little story from when I was a child and helping my mom with the grocery shopping.

I was never an ordinary child. I corrected people's grammar, I was tidy, and I loved brussel sprouts. So when I saw the brussel sprouts in the store, I wanted them! I loved them because they were like baby cabbages. And I loved all small things.

I asked for the brussel sprouts and since my mom didn't like them, she wasn't sure what to do... Please me and have to eat the dreaded veg or say no to a child wanting the dreaded veg?

After I whined for a while I got them.  How could you deny a child that kind of "treat"?

But now I live in my own house so we have brussel sprouts I lot more frequently and I am always trying out new recipes to keep my old lady veggie cool.