Blog Archives

Thinking of summer BBQs…

It’s dreary outside today and I’m dreaming of sunnier days.  That led me to think about what I did in summer, and that led to summer BBQs.  I have a whole whack of photos from a particular crazy weekend of eating.  Why was it a crazy weekend?  Well, my friends and I held another BBQ/hotpot/sleepover, which meant a straight 18 hours or so of eating.  The next day I had brunch at a friend’s and it was my birthday potluck.  Needless to say, all I did was eat (and snap a few photos between bites.)

On the menu for the BBQ: strawberry citrus salad, veggie skewers, burgers, hummus and chips, sangria, and wings (I probably missed an item or two.)

Simple Veggie Skewers

  • peppers, sliced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • mushrooms, halved
  • Montreal steak spice

Take whatever veggies you fancy and toss them with some steak spice.  Thread them onto some skewers and toss on the grill until cooked through.  Easy and delicious!

Veggie skewers.

Burgers.

 

Strawberry citrus salad.

 

EM

Byward Market

I love going for walks.  It’s my way of pretending I do SOME exercise during the school year (and a way for me to avoid writing memos and papers.)  I highly enjoy browsing food markets and the local farmer’s market.  Lately I’ve been walking to Byward Market.  I figure I better enjoy the last few weeks of local fresh produce before the long, cold, barren winter sets in.  The only thing is, every time I go, I want to buy everything I see.  There are so many good deals at the market, I have to exercise a lot of self-control in order not to overspend.  After all, the produce will go bad if I don’t use it up in time.  I did snag some good deals on carrots, spinach, and a GIANT zucchini (which will be featured in a future post.)  Yummy!

 

 

I love the vibrant colours of fresh produce!

EM

BBQ-Sleepover

The fun continued for me on the weekend with a BBQ-sleepover with a bunch of friends.  I feel like every time we get together to do this, our gatherings get more and more epic, food-wise (not that I’m complaining).  The menu was quite extensive, and almost everything was homemade!  I’ll have to split the post for recipes as I haven’t gathered everyone’s contributions yet, but here’s what we ate: burgers, wings, roasted veggies, pasta salad, Caesar salad, mango salsa, salmon sashimi, shrimp and veggie skewers, and strawberry citrus salad.  For dessert there was mint chocolate chip ice cream (PC brand-it’s the best for mint chocolate chip ice cream!) and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  There was so much food, we got to have a late night feast at about three in the morning (where we promptly ate up a lot of the leftovers).  So much fun!

The following recipes were provided to me by Abby.

Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 2 g Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 30 g anchovy paste
  • 5 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 litre olive or canola oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 100 g Parmesan Cheese (optional)

*This recipe makes 1.5 L of dressing, so make sure to adjust it to what you need.

Whisk mustard, lemon juice, salt, eggs, anchovy paste, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic until frothy.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking.  Once the emulsion forms, add remaining oil in a steady stream.  Add remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning.  Store in a noncorrosive container in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.

Strawberry Citrus Salad

  •  3 cups hulled strawberries, sliced
  • 3 large navel oranges, peeled, thickly sliced crosswise, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp of packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

Toss all ingredients into a large bowl.  Let stand at room temp for 30 minutes.

This strawberry citrus salad is one of my favourite summer salads.  For some reason, people were not eating very much of it and I think I ended up devouring about a third to a half of it!

EM

Phoenix Cooking Adventures-Part II-Jamie Oliver Cookbook

As mentioned previously, I was (and still am) really excited about my new cookbook.  Laura and I promptly flipped through it and found a few things to try.  One of them is a favourite of her’s, penne carbonara.  Super tasty and easy to make.

Penne Carbonara

  • 1 lb penne (we used one bag, no idea how much was in it)
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4  1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until done to your liking (I like mine al dente).  In the meantime, fry up the bacon until nice and crispy-drain on paper towels.  Mix the yolks, half the cheese, and the cream together (this is the sauce.)  Once the pasta is done, drain it and immediately add your sauce to the pasta and stir well-the residual heat will cook up your sauce.  Add in the bacon and serve.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

To go with our delicious pasta, we tried a drink from the cookbook, and then made another version based on the original.

Ginger Beer

  • 5 oz fresh ginger, grated (I just eyed it and used a decent sized knob since I like ginger)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 4 cups soda water or sparkling mineral water
  • fresh mint

Zest the lemons.  Mix the ginger, zest, and brown sugar in the bottom of a pitcher.  Add the juice from the lemons and then pour in the water.  Let it sit for 10 minutes to allow flavours to blend.  Taste it and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed.  You can adjust the amount of zest to your taste: I love lemons so we used a lot of zest, but you can start with the zest from one lemon and go from there.  You can strain out the ginger and zest before serving.  Garnish with the mint.

Grapefruit and Raspberry Punch

  • 2 grapefruits
  • handful of raspberries
  • 4 cups of soda water or sparkling mineral water
  • sugar
  • fresh mint

Zest the grapefruit.  Mix the zest and raspberries in the bottom of a pitcher.  Add the water.  Add sugar to taste if necessary.  Garnish with mint when serving.

A note about the grapefruit: we picked it from Adam’s mom’s backyard!!! That was so awesome, there is NOTHING like picking fresh fruit.  Especially when it’s January.  It was so delicious, and we didn’t even need to add sugar to our punch!  I also devoured a few of those grapefruit before I left.  Our evening of cooking was a big success!

EM

Studying and Strawberries

Hello everyone.  The lack of posting lately is due to the fact that it’s exam season, and studying for them has basically taken over my life.  I arrived early in the morning at a friend’s house to study (yuck) and her boyfriend, Andrew, had made us a lovely stock pile of chocolate covered strawberries.  A LOT OF THEM.  I was so happy!  Not just any chocolate covered strawberries, these were fancy.  There was milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate with nuts, and chocolate with coconut.  It was all very yummy, and since Andrew REALLY wanted a blog post, here it is.  But in all seriousness, this was blog-worthy, as the strawberries looked gorgeous and tasted great.

For all of you suffering through exams, good luck!

EM

Dinner Party!

Instead of studying and prepping exam notes last night, a couple of the girls and I had an impromptu dinner party.  HH made meatballs (my favourite!), Andria made a salad and brought fruit, and I made cornbread.  Needless to say, no homework was done, but there was a lot of food-indulging and laughter.

Andria’s Salad- Ingredients:

  • salad greens
  • strawberries, sliced
  • walnuts
  • balsamic vinegar dressing

Mix all ingredients and toss with dressing.  If you’re feeling fancy, add some goat cheese and red onion.  Enjoy immediately.

HH’s Meatballs-Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of lean ground turkey (about 550 grams)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Combine all ingredients but the canola oil in a big bowl.  Form the mixture into walnut size balls.  Heat oil in skillet and cook on medium-high heat until cooked through (about five minutes per side).

For sauce:  use a jar  (700 ml) of your favourite sauce and 1 can (769 ml) of diced tomatoes.

Strain the diced tomatoes in a sieve and discard liquid.  Combine with sauce in a large pot or slow cooker.  Add meatballs and simmer for an hour (set to high heat if using slow cooker).  Serve with your favourite pasta.  DELICIOUS.

And finally, cornbread.  This recipe is super easy and I discovered it on AllRecipes.com.  Andria has taken quite a liking to it; she says that if school ever drives her over the edge and she ends up on the roof about to jump off, I can bait her with this and she’ll come back down-yes, it is THAT good.

Honey Cornbread-Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (not cornflour, these are two different things)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients and mix (I just use a spatula).  Pour into a pan (recipe said 9 x 9 inch pan, I use a pie pan).  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick into the middle-it should come out clean.

It was night of food, fun, and friends: which is what I think makes life worth living.

EM