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Simple Lunch

I had a lot of fun catching up with one of my friends back home today over the phone.  I was telling her about all my plans to cook and bake new dishes, and we made plans to cook together when I go home for a visit.  She has a wonderful kitchen with lots of fun tools and gadgets-except she doesn’t use half of them, because she doesn’t really cook.  I suspect she doesn’t know what half of her gadgets do.  I keep telling her one day I’ll just go shop in her kitchen and take what I need-she told me she wouldn’t even notice if stuff went missing.  Haha.  So, this post is for her, because she wanted something easy to make and requested that I send her something.

This is a simple bagel-wich and salad that I had for lunch.  My friend made it for me when I went to Montreal for a wedding; he’s an excellent host and  cook.

Salad

  • romaine lettuce
  • assorted berries
  • salad dressing of your choice

Mix all ingredients and you’ve got a tasty and healthy salad!

 

Bagel-wich

  • bagel, toasted
  • sliced tomato
  • lettuce
  • butter or mayo
  • smoked salmon

Assemble all ingredients as you would a sandwich!  Super easy!

 

It was a very tasty meal!

EM

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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

BBQ-Sleepover Part 2

Here are a couple more recipes to try if you’re throwing a summer party: pasta salad and mango salsa (although it does go great with chips, most of us were eating it as a salad, it’s so tasty on its own).

Pasta Salad

  • one red pepper, diced
  • one green pepper, diced
  • 450 grams penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • one bag of Hellmans ancho chipotle sauce

Toss everything together!


Mango Salsa

  • 4 mangoes, diced
  • 1 mango, pureed
  • half a red onion, diced
  • one lime, zested and juiced
  • mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (or to taste)
Toss everything together and add mint leaves to taste.  Serve with your favourite tortilla chips.

The next day we had breakfast on the patio because it was such a gorgeous morning.  We BBQ’d our breakfast and had sausages and bacon.  Just be careful when you do this and have a spray bottle with water nearby because the fat WILL make the flames shoot up, and the flames had to be doused every so often so our breakfast didn’t burn.  The bacon and sausages definitely tasted better grilled on the BBQ rather than cooked on the stove top.  Take advantage of summer weather and get out there and use your grill!

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

Summer BBQ

I love summer-it’s BBQ season!  First BBQ of the year was thrown at Fred’s house, and the spread of food included steaks, burgers, homemade bread sticks, salad, key lime pie, and chocolate chip cookies (see this post for the cookie recipe).  Yes, it was night filled with delicious food.

Look at this delicious salad!

It’s a salad of mixed greens, toasted almonds, grapefruit, and strawberries with a vinaigrette dressing (not made by me, made by Abby and Zabrina).

Salad Dressing

I got this salad dressing recipe from Zabrina, and she said she doesn’t really have recipes for dressings.  The typical recipe is 3:1 (oil:vinegar).  For this salad, she used lime juice and white wine vinegar for the vinegar component and canola oil.  You can also use grapeseed oil for a healthier alternative, but olive oil isn’t recommended because the olive flavour can be overpowering.  Then, just add the following:

  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • lime zest
  • lime juice
  • ginger
  • honey
  • sugar
  • salt
  • a little bit of shallots

Emulsify the vinegar and oil first, then add the rest of the ingredients and adjust to taste!

Have a fun summer BBQ-ing!

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