Saturday, January 31, 2009

Taking a great big SIGH.

So... has your Saturday been successful? Have you treated yourself? Have you accomplished something that you set out to? I sure hope so. 

Today, well more so until this moment - I have been full of 'sighs'. Things are on the up - and the rest of the day will be fabulous. 
I woke this morning, nice and early - not really by choice. More b/c Magnum was growling and needed out to take care of 'bidnid'. Miraculously, Chris didn't hear him. Hmm?  7:05 - came quick and I couldn't sleep after that. Sigh. Chris got up slightly later and then headed to SB's for a coffee and a London Fog* for me. *If you are heading to SB's (Starbucks) for a London Fog, be sure to ask for a Vanilla Tea Misto (not sure the spelling) b/c it is over a dollar less than the London Fog. Before I used to ask for a Grande non-fat, extra hot, London Fog and they would say 'Do you mean a grande, non-fat, extra hot, earl grey vanilla tea misto' - to which I would say 'uh, I guess'. So about a month ago, I went to SB's and asked for a ' grande, non-fat, extra hot, earl grey vanilla tea misto' and she said 'Do you mean a London Fog' so I said 'sure' and then she tried to charge me an extra $1.50ish for the same drink. She was surprised when I said, 'no, I want the vanilla tea misto' - good times. So just in case... 
After that Chris, went to Kung Fu - visit him HERE if you like. He left around 9:30 and should hopefully be home around 2. Sigh. 
I had a great walk with the pups - we went for a nice and long one. The sun was shining - it was brisk, and there were many other pups out walking - so there was some good socialization for Joz and Mags. We met a great couple and their little 1 year old who is in love with dogs and kept running after them saying 'da' - so cute. Then I felt sorry for myself b/c I am walking with pups, and would love to be walking with a little one as well. Sigh. 
God, snap out of it! (don't worry, I have, just thinking back to that moment).
Then home to where I have been cleaning. Sigh. Magnum - thanks for the help scrubbing the toilet, but next time it will be easier if you stay out from under me the entire time. And thanks Magnum for when I kept you in the bedroom while I swept and vacuumed so that you didn't eat all the swept bits - and you cried loudly at the top of your lungs until I came and got you. Sigh - but pretty cute.

Right now I have some chicken breasts cooking in the oven - and I am going to make chicken salad sandwiches for a late lunch. Similar to the recipe I saw on tv today - but I didn't write it down, so I'll have to wing it. Tonight we are heading to Maegan's to watch UFC - go GSP! I am planning my menu for tomorrow's SuperBowl - we aren't have a party - just my sister and nephews and maybe mom - I will be serving each quarter: chicken wings (spicy and then breaded with mozzarella cheese), then mini turkey burgers with brie, mini hotdogs (from M&M - a treat for the kids), then Chicken Chili and if there is room for dessert, I'll see what I can whip up.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches - Sims Style
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cooked seasoned with Kosher
1/2 cup of light mayo
2 tbsp of dijon mustard
Dried oregano
Smoked Paprika 
2 stalks of celery - chopped into small bits
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup of toasted chopped walnuts - I am going to use whole walnuts, then chop them and put them in a pan for about 8-10 minutes
8 slices of brie or havarti
4 slices of Pumpernickel bread - toasted

Shred the chicken with two forks, while the chicken is still warm. Sit aside. Mix together the mustard and mayo, lemon and add the spices (whatever you like really) and then the celery and toasted walnuts.
Once your bread is toasted, top each with the chicken salad and one 2 pieces of cheese. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes at 350, or until cheese is melted.
I have a feeling that these will be delicious - and there will be leftovers for Chris' lunch tomorrow.

This week has been dedicated to my grandma - and it has been a wonderful week of memories and great recipes. I miss her so, but know that I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful relationship with her. 

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Loves all around. Love all and be loved.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friends oh lovely friends.

TFIF! This day did not come fast enough. Not even in the slighest. It felt as though this was a 23 day week. Dear Friday, I have missed you. This weekend is off to a good start. Chris and I had a very successful meeting with a new bank, and the outcome almost made me hug the guy. Jules (aka my mom) sent us to him - she has been visiting him for years. Apparently they have a pretty good relationship b/c he said (more than once) "she's my peeps" - too funny.  After our appointment we went to Jules' for dinner - soft tacos or as she likes to pronounce them tA(as in 'a'pple)cos. So good. Ground pork, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, cheese and a little sour cream. Thanks Mom!!!

Looking back at this week, it really wasn't bad, not bad at all, but it just felt long. There were ups and downs, but when I think about it, I feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. I am so fortunate. So incredibly fortunate. I am going to name just a few lovely friends that have touched me this week and made my week so much better. Mom - she is just the best, Debbie - a great sister, Babs who is a rock and teaches me so much about cooking, Margo - who is so strong and I miss dearly and can't wait to see her soon, Marsha for always being so fun and positive, Tracy - a new friend who helps me through the day - also an incredible artist - visit her here , Beth who is fun and always makes me laugh, Jenny for getting me on to this blog and not even knowing it, Colleen who I have touched base with again and who I miss so much, Shannon who I have connected with again after so many years, Jocelyn who I do such a bad job of keeping in touch with and who always ate what I made for her, Maegan who has got my butt in gear and who I love dearly for that, Jessica who also helps me get through the day and is a dear friend. I have so many more great friends, but this week, each of these ladies truly made my day some how.

Grandma always had amazing friends. Friends that she had for many, many years. Friends who she had from when she was in nursing to friends that she met later in life. She held her friends so dear to her, and you could tell that all of them loved and respected her so much.  She knew how important it was to surround yourself by those you love and who love you. She always had great stories about her friends and we just always knew that they meant so much to her.  I feel that she was such an amazing woman, but a huge part of that was how she balanced her family, her career and her friends - she had such a fortunate life and felt incredibly blessed.

Since dinner was cooked for us, I am going to post one of Grandma's delicious and easy desserts. I made this last night and it was a great finish to a lovely dinner.

Chocolate Pudding
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk
Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the milk to the melted butter, stir into dry ingredients. Mix all together and put into a baking dish - the 9x11 size. I found it a bit hard to put in the pan, so I squished it down with my hands.

Then...
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
1 3/4 cup boiling water
Mix the sugar and the cocoa together and sprinkle over first level. Pour boiling water over top to cover the entire cake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Serve warm. This will be an all time favourite dessert.

Chris rated this a 5 - mostly because it's chocolate.

I wish you all a great Saturday - and hope that you get the things done that you want to get done, and that you have some time to treat yourself, however you like to be treated.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is that a Bistro?


Why has Thursday taken so long to get here? One more day - and then we have Friday. I am so eager to see what Friday will bring - so many things that I hope to get done, so many things that will probably have to wait.

On my evening walk with the pups - we saw a man crossing the road ahead of us, coming in our direction. We have seen this man before - he reminds of a gentle giant, walks with his head down, usually smiles and just stares - don't worry, not in a freaky sort of way. So tonight, as I see him walking towards us, he stops and says out loud to me 'Is that a Bistro?' - he was talking about Jozie. I'm sure he meant Bichon - but it was so funny the way that he asked. It made my walk. It took away from the fact, well for a minute or two, that my dogs are not well behaved on their leashes and that when I say 'sit' they think that it's fun to run so far ahead that my arm feels as though it could be ripped off. Wouldn't change it for a thing though - except maybe a dog obedience class or two.

Growing up we had such an amazing dog, Shadow. She was black lab who arrived one Christmas Eve when I was 8, a gift from my Grandma and Granddad. She arrived at the airport where my dad secretly went to pick her up - while most were waiting for loved ones to arrive, my dad was waiting for a gift that would be the one of the best gifts ever. Shadow was so smart - she was such a loyal dog. When she was on her leash she wasn't bad if people approached, but if another dog approached, watch out. Both hands on the leash, and hold on. Off leash, she was fine.
One year, on our annual trip to Vancouver, while staying with Grandma and Granddad, Grandma decided to take Shadow on an outing around the neighbourhood.  We heard for years after, about this outing. Apparently, Shadow not only did a 'jobbie' on one of her neighbours yards, she also pulled Grandma down the hill trying to chase another dog down. I can just picture her legs going as fast as she could trying to keep up, and so angry that Shadow was misbehaving. We are fortunate to have dogs in our life - and so much of our love for them comes from Grandma's love of all animals.

Tonight's dinner came from EAT magazine. I saw the dish on the cover and it looked so appealing, similar to something that I have made before, so I wanted to give it a try. I have altered it slightly, but it is not too different from the original.

Sausage and Chicken Stew
Italian sausage - 6
Boneless skinless chicken breasts - 4 - chopped into small chunks
Garlic - 3 cloves minced
Onion - 1 chopped
Dried oregano - 1 tbsp
Smoked paprika - 1 tbsp - first time I have used this and I really love the flavour
Canned diced tomatoes 
Chicken broth - 1 cup
BC HotHouse peppers - 3 coarsely chopped
White kidney beans - 1 can - drained and rinsed

Lightly coat a large saucepan or dutch oven with olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and brown on both sides - approximately 5 minutes. Remove sausages, add chicken and cook until browned - about 5 minutes (don't worry about it being cooked all the way through at this point). Remove from pan.

In the same pot, with the oil, add the chopped onion and garlic. Sprinkle with seasonings, don't forget the Kosher and cook until softened - about 8 minutes. While this is cooking take the time to cut up the sausage into chunk pieces.

When onions are soft, increase heat to high and pour in the broth. Scrape up and stir in the brown bits - they have great flavour. Reduce the heat. Stir in the tomatoes, return the chicken and the sausage to the pot and then add the peppers and the beans. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

We served it in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream on top. This dish was so delicious. Nice and hearty and easy to make. 

Chris rated this a 5 +. Holla!!! 

I would recommend this to everyone!

We are about ready to curl up and watch The Office - and spend a quiet evening together. Tomorrow's dish will be what we had for dessert tonight - one of grandma's decadent treats.

Happy Friday Eve! 

Enjoy!

PS - My mom ate the KitKat!!!!!  Good for you mom, I hope you enjoyed every bite.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I am in need of a KitKat bar!

Hump day - good day? I guess. I slept in - the pup woke me up at 6:47 - whoa! Good boy. Too bad he also woke me up about 10 other times during the night. One time at 3:30 in the morning to try and duke it out with Ogre (the cat). Oh well, that 47 minutes of extra sleep was quite nice.

Ok - so yes, I would love a KitKat bar - really any chocolate would do - but today I really thought about the chocolaty goodness of a KitKat. Writing this blog has been so fun, and each day, I like to think about what I will write about, what dinner will be, etc. Because this week is dedicated to my Grandma, I knew that chocolate would have to be a topic. Grandma LOVED chocolate! She strongly felt that a piece of chocolate a day was good for everyone. We would all laugh when she would call us to say that she was 'off of chocolate for a month' - not sure how she did it, but she always managed to. Today on the way home from work I was thinking about grandma's story* of the KitKat (*grandma's love for the 'bar' - as she would call it)  and how it came about. 

13 years ago this April, my dad had to have an operation on his ankle - he had to fix what he had done when he was 19 when he apparently didn't think that it was broken. His recovery for the first 2 weeks were on grandma's couch - and oh how good it would have been to be a fly on the wall. Anyways, before dad's visit (or during, not sure exactly) a trip was made to Costco where grandma picked up the jumbo sized box of KitKats. Each day, I think that they tried to restrain themselves until after lunch - they would break open the box, pick a bar, split it up, enjoy it, and then go back for another. When I came for a weekend to visit - my aunt and uncle came for tea, grandma and I made the tea, put out some goodies, and grandma cracked open the cupboard with the KitKats, ripped open the wrapper and split it into the thin chocolaty delights, and served it on a plate. I can still remember it to this day - they couldn't pass up their daily treat.

Each year since, we all spoiled grandma with KitKats - and she would laugh so hard with the biggest smile when she would open the gifts and then hide them away from us. I think all of the grandchildren HEART chocolate - some more than others. 

Since grandma's passing, Babs has carried on the tradition of treating us to KitKat's (PS - Mom you haven't eaten yours from Christmas and I didn't see it on your table the other night - so Debbie if you ate it - I will freak). Today while driving home from work, I was thinking of how something so small can evoke such emotions. Is it because of the memories it brings, the tradition that it created, the bond that my dad and grandma had for that two weeks? I don't know - but it made me sad today - a good sad, but sad. What we all would do to sit with them again and enjoy a KitKat and laugh.  I can still see both of their faces when I think of how something so sweet would make them so happy. Their grins are forever eternal to me.

Sigh.

Ok - so dinner is a cookin'. One of grandma's. I actually didn't know that I had it. It was on the back of the Chicken Vegetable Bake recipe - so I thought that I would give it a try. Before cooking, I had to tidy the kitchen up. How does it get that way? At least my kitchen table has not cluttered - and I can still enjoy the lovely basket that Hugh and family filled for us for Christmas with treats from the Okanagan. Isn't it lovely?


Jean's Pork Tenderloin

2 lbs of pork tenderloin (I used two smaller ones instead of larger)
2 tbsp of butter (or olive oil)
1 can of cream of asparagus soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/2 chopped onion
1 can of whole mushrooms (I used fresh and sliced about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp of curry powder
Dash of pepper

Pound pork slices to flatten - interesting - just reading that now - I did not slice mine - should still be ok. Brown the meat in the butter in a skillet that has a lid - I used the electric skillet. Once browned, remove and set aside.
In the same pan add the soups and the milk. Blend together and then add the remaining ingredients. Add the meat, cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes. I just added asparagus and will let cook for about 10 minutes.
I am serving this over brown rice - I know that we have already had rice this week, but I think that this will go best with rice - and brown rice is healthier. 

Chris rated this a 5+ - Grandma would have been thrilled.

So far the dish looks and smells good, and I am anxiously waiting the rice to cook. All in all over an hour from start to finish, but not a hard dish at all. I wasn't going to say anything, but the bread and marg did come out tonight during dinner prep. I really can't help it. Eating lunch at noon, and then going another 6 hours without eating, is too hard. 

Thank you to Jenny and Beth for commenting on my blog, and to my lovely family who have sent me the best emails. 

I hope that you all treat yourself to a little piece of chocolate and think of someone you love and miss when enjoying it - because they will be with you savouring every bite.

Goodnight sweet lads and lassies.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Run Wee Lassie, Run!

Tuesday = success. We woke up to a very thin blanket of snowy white goodness - not sure how many feel about the snow equaling 'goodness' - but I love. Work was very positive today - I felt that I was able to accomplish what I set out to - my Women's only running clinic started and to top it off it's Biggest Loser day. 

Oh, you ask 'Women's only running clinic'? Yes!!!! First day. My great friend, Maegan - who adoringly has nicknamed me 'Shirley Rotten' - sent me the details and we signed up. The clinic is for women only, for women that are all at different fitness levels and all with the goal of running or walking the Times Colonist 10K.  It was a great night! Maegan and I joined the 'First timers' group - not b/c it's the first time that we have ran - oh believe me, I am not a runner but I have spent time on the 'mill' - but the next group up was the 'Been there done that' and they were going to be doing 5 minute runs then 1 minute walk. I am definitely not there yet. We had a great time - we didn't "wet them" but came very close. This is just the beginning for me - I can feel the wind whipping through my hair - this is just the beginning - one more exciting road to go down. And can't wait to share the journey. Just the beginning.

"Run Lassie, Run". I can hear my grandma's voice when I think about that. My grandma was always active - even in her later years - she often tired us out first. She walked everywhere, always. She did drive, years ago, but she was far better on her feet than behind the wheel. It was always a treat to get out for a nice walk with her. We often walked up the street to pick up a few things at the store, or through the neighbourhood to admire the leaves.  We all know her stories of having to run home from school, walking to and from work, and every Thursday to get her hair done. She was such an amazing woman in so many ways, but the way that she always took care of herself (and everyone around her - that is a true gift) and made sure that she stayed active is something that I think of everyday and know how inspiring she was to all of us. She always made a point to tell us that we should be wearing good shoes. My dad always felt the same way, and always treated us to good shoes.

So tonight's run was for grandma. 

Ok, sigh.

Tonight's dinner was not homemade. And it was not one of grandma's recipe - but I know that she would have loved to sit down to a warm bowl made just for her. From work, to mom's with the pups, to the running clinic, back to mom's and then dinner. Thankfully I had a few things on hand to be able to make a relatively healthy dinner, quickly.

2 cans of Habitant Vegetable Soup. 1 pack of Eating Right whole wheat cheese tortellini. That's it. Put it all into big pot, cook over medium heat and stir regularly. We had it with a piece of pumpernickel (I had the marg on it). This is a great meal solution, when you don't feel like cooking. I think that I'll call it - Habivegellini - catchy.

Chris rated this a 3.  (He said that it's missing it b/c it wasn't made by me - whatever) :)

Welcome my friends and family that are joining me and reading! It's so comforting to have you around.

I wish you all a good night - and a lovely tomorrow. Bring it on, bring - it - on.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Come on up!

Hello Monday fans! How come after a relatively quiet weekend, I feel exhausted? Ok, not exhausted, EXHAUSTED!!! Is this going to represent the entire week? If so, we may be in for a little bit of trouble. Move on - it's just one day! One day. Don't let it trick you. 

Ok - 'come on up' - so many know what this means. Grandma, for as long as I can remember has been hard of hearing, bless her. I think, correct me if I am wrong, but I think that we have all inherited this gene from Jeannie and it is starting to become more noticeable. My dad also had this, and I would often get in trouble with a common phrase that sounded something that like this; "Jesus Christ child, stop mumbling" - oddly enough everyone else could hear what I was saying. Please don't be offended by the 'JC' - it was a common term in our home that we all still laugh about to this day. Oh dad and grandma - you have given us so many great things to laugh about. 
So back to 'come on up'. Grandma lived in a great apartment that had the buzzer to let you in. When anyone went over and buzzed, without her even knowing exactly who it was, we would hear on the speaker - 'Come on Up!!!'. She was always waiting at her door for whoever was on the way up, with the biggest grin. I can still picture her now. If she wasn't dressed to the nines, which I always thought she was - she would comment on her 'shirt tales' and say something like 'Hello Shirl, come on in. How come you brought such a big bag'. So funny.

Tonight I am making the Chicken Vegetable Bake. I am in the process of browning the chicken. I may be doing something wrong b/c it is taking forever. I guess I don't really brown chicken - so wasn't sure what to expect. I think that I should have committed to this dish on Friday or Saturday as it is still going to take an hour and a bit to cook. And, while I wait, I will probably have a slice or two of pumpernickel bread - with this olive oil margarine that I shouldn't have, but I heart it. 

Dinner is in the oven, I repeat - dinner is in the oven (I will post Chris' rating in yesterday's entry). Now all I have to do is wait for another hour and a 1/4. In that time, I need to do a load of laundry, make the rice, a salad and tidy up. Please don't be jealous of this exciting life. As I sit and write this, this is what I see to my left. They don't like to leave me alone for long. PS - look on the counter - that's the marg - don't judge me.


I almost forgot! Dinner at Bruce's was great! He cooked an amazing Chicken Chili, a wonderful salad and a trifle for dessert. The recipe for the chili will be posted soon I'm sure, I can't wait to cook it up. His recipes came from the Silver Palate cookbook - two more I plan to add to my cookbook library (not really a library, but it sounds fancy). He liked the chocolate chip cookies I brought - there are some sitting on the counter beside the margarine - seriously, that could be my dinner and dessert - run.

I hope that you all had a fantastic Monday - and that you are loving the one(s) you're with. Tomorrow is a new start for me - more to come - I can already feel the wind in my face.

Loves.

Enjoy! 
 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Some hae meat and canna eat
And some hae meat wad want it
We hae meat and we canna eat
And say the lord be thank it
Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns

Today is not only Robbie Burns day (technically it's Robert but our family is quite close) it is also my grandmother's birthdate. My grandmother was an amazingly special person. Her parents were from Scotland - so you can imagine the pride being able to share her day with such a Scotland's favourite boy. 

As a family, we celebrated many a Robbie Burns day. My first was with my fave cuz, Margo and Grandma in Vancouver - we were treated by the SFU Pipe Band, great dinner and my grandma pushing Margo and I to dance together. Many more followed - some more fancy than others. We had 3 generations together celebrating the night - it was always a lovely time. Our last 'outing' was at the Scottish Heritage Center - where Marsha, fave cuz, and I were involuntary subject to a woman having the toots in the ladies room. I know - how immature to bring this up - but what followed was probably worse. Fits of laughing during the speeches. Our entire two tables had no idea what we were laughing at, but had to join in. As always, with the laughing, Babs made a run for it, so there were no wet pants. Debbie followed. 

Our last Robbie Burns day, I went to Vancouver to spend the weekend with Grandma, and we headed to Hugh and Sharon's for a pizza dinner and haggis. Again, the family was together, and there were lots of laughs.

I am so incredibly fortunate to have had such a wonderful relationship with my grandma - all of my grandparents actually. Chris didn't grow up with grandparents, so has always been intrigued by the closeness. 

This week, like so many weeks before, will be dedicated to Grandma. I miss her so - her voice, her stories, her laughter, her wisdom, her cooking and so much more. She was an amazing cook - and I will be doing a bunch of her recipes this week. 


Grandma and I laughing as we try to take a pic of us.

Since we are going to Bruce's tonight (I wonder if he'll be serving Haggis?), I am going to post my favourite of all of Grandma's dishes. This dish became my 'birthday' dish for years. 

Chicken Vegetable Bake
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp  salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
- combine in ziploc bag - reserve 2 tbsp of the mixture

1 - 2.5 - 3 lb chicken - cut into pieces or 12 chicken thighs or legs
Coat 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time in the flour mixture. Heat skillet and spray with 1/4 cup oil. Brown chicken pieces 2-3 pieces at a time. Remove the chicken and place in a large casserole dish. 
Add 1 can of whole onions - I will probably chop up a whole onion and add instead.
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1 3 oz can of sliced or whole mushrooms - again you can use fresh - I love the whole mushrooms and remember them distinctly in this dish.
Blend reserved flour mixture, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp ginger and a dash of salt into the drippings in the skillet. Stir to make a smooth paste. Add 1/2 6 oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed and 3/4 cup of water. Cook and stir until bubbly. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hours.

Serve over rice and maybe with a fresh green salad. 

Chris rated this a 5!!!! 

**This is not the most health conscience dish - but I will tweak it a bit tomorrow night when I make it and see if I can 'health it up' a bit. 

I wish you all a happy Robbie Burns day, and send love to you all.  

Hug a Scot!

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1980 called they want your jeans back.

It's catch up time. 2 days - no post. It's been a busy couple of days.
"1980 called they want your jeans back" is something that I often have to say to Chris when he puts on the tighties - and we joke that he can't move in them. Poor Chris - he is such a good sport, and thankfully does take the jeans off for the newbs.

Speaking of 1980 - I had a great visit with Shannon on Thursday night for dinner and then lunch today. The healthy eating was pretty much out the window. We went to Moxie's for dinner on Thursday night and I had a delicious pasta with Italian Sausage, tomatoes, and other goodness. Today for lunch we went to Swan's - had a bowl of clam chowder and edamame. It was so good to see her and hard to believe that 7 years have gone by since we last sat down for a visit. I think that our relationship has been rejuvenated and 1980 - would be happy that we have got back in touch with one another. She is very special to me. 

Jozie and Magnum had a visit to the beauty salon yesterday. Magnum has probably lost about 20 pounds worth of hair - he is still so cute - but I do miss the hair. He does too I think - he shivered in his sleep last night. Jozie, aka - Kujo - when at the salon, did really well yesterday. Hazel was pleased with her and was happy that Joz didn't take a nip. We have been going to Hazel since Maggie was probably 6 - so at least 7 years - she still talks about Maggie and what a lovely girl she was - oh how we miss her so. 

BEFORE:                                 
  

AFTER:

Tonight I made a nice and easy dinner. It was a busy day, so I was very happy that I had planned in advance - not only this morning by taking out chicken, but last week when I shopped. Give this a try - let me know what you think.

Whole Wheat Asparagus Ravioli Sims Ave Style

2 chicken breats (bone in or boneless whatever you have)
2 packs of Eating Right Asparagus whole wheat ravioli (these freeze really well)
1 onion - diced
2-3 cloves of garlic - minced
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
15-20 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cream 
1/4 cup parmesan 
Dried oregano 

I used bone in chicken tonight. I cooked them with just a little kosher salt and pepper, in a 400 oven for about an hour. I removed the skin and the chicken from the bone and cut it into cubes.

In your skillet, saute your onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil, add a couple of pinches of kosher salt. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic - and cook for about a minute - watch your garlic doesn't burn. Add your wine and let simmer for a minute or two. Add mushrooms and continue to saute. After 10 minutes add your chicken and tomatoes. Once it is all incorporated add cream and stir - add parmesan. 

Add your cooked ravioli (a little at a time to ensure that it is all covered with the delicious sauce)  and mix it all together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and voila!

Chris rated this a 4.

Tomorrow night we are being treated to dinner at our dear friend Bruce's. It is always such a treat to visit with Bruce especially at his house. He is a great cook, so I am looking forward to what he will create for us. 

I plan on doing a little shopping tomorrow - making sure I have ingredients for some healthy cooking. Maybe visiting Superstore for little house accessories to decorate the new room downstairs - who knows what the day will bring. I am prepared for the possibilities. 

I hope that if 1980 calls you - it is for something good.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Memory lane

I walked down it a little bit today. Lots of things reminded me of my youth. An old friend found me on Facebook, and it reminded me of grade 2, my hometown - Kitimat, the night that I had a sleep over and we invited our guy friends to hang out with us in the tent - I got in so much trouble. Then my 'oldest' dear friend Shannon is in town - unfortunately not for a good visit, her grandpa passed away, and I hope that we are able to get a visit in.  We have known each other since we were 8 and I haven't seen in her way too long. Then dinner tonight, was a dish that my mom used to make for us as kids. 

A couple of months ago, when I was ready to leave work I thought of this dish. I remember my mom making it when we were little and I knew that it was good comfort food. The recipe is very simple - and since the first time that I made it - when Chris rated it a 1 (how dare he) I have "gourmet'd" it up and it is so delicious. 

My mom is such a good cook - and I love that I still remember dishes that she made when I was young and how I have stuck to some of them and how I have made my own interpretations. 

Mom's Meat Pie 
2 packs of ground meat - I don't eat red meat so tonight it was ground chicken breast
2 cans of sliced mushrooms - no salt added 
2 cans of tomato paste
1 onion - diced
1 cup of shredded cheese - marble (low fat) and tonight I added a bit of leftover Gruyere
2 tins of Pillsbury whole wheat crescent rolls - don't judge me - they taste really good :)

Pre-heat the oven to 375. 
Saute onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes - season the onion with a pinch of kosher salt.  Add ground chicken and cook until it is cooked throughout. Drain canned mushrooms and add to chicken. Add two cans of tomato paste and mix it all together. Add any seasoning that you desire - tonight I only added dried oregano - and to me that is all that it needed.

In a regular sized pie plate, roll out the crescent rolls and cover the bottom and sides of the plate - to form a pie shell. Add the meat mixture to the pie plate and top with the shredded cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes - just watch that the edges of the pie shell so that it doesn't burn.

And that's it! So simple, served with steamed broccoli, and I have enough for our lunches and dinner tomorrow night! Ta Da!!! As a child the dish was very similar, but very different. It was always made with ground beef, nothing was added to the meat and instead of shredded cheese, it was cheese slices - oh how times have changed.

Chris rated this a 5!!

As I write this, I am watching on CBC - 'The Week The Women Went' - and I wonder what would happen if I left for a week? I have though - and Chris is very self sufficient - he does miss me though - and the cooking. Oh I love. 

I hope that your Wednesday felt like that the week was half over, because it is - the weekend is just around the corner.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Welcome Tuesday. I brought on the day today - tackled it. Felt better - back to work - lots accomplished - and to end the night, like icing on the cake - it's Biggest Loser day! I love this show. I find it so inspiring - I love seeing these people work so hard transforming themselves not only physically but emotionally. 

The theme song from the show has the words 'What have you done today to make you feel proud?' - I love this. I often ask myself this. Taking the time to think about what you have done throughout the day to make you feel like you have accomplished something. Today, I am proud. I am proud that ate healthy at work, that I got in a nice long walk with the pups and proud of the life that Chris and I have together. We have a comfortable house that we have both worked so hard to have. Sorry for the sap, but it's true. We are doing some transformations, and I can't wait to have it all done. I will have two kitchens - two ovens - so double the cooking.

We are having left overs tonight for dinner. I heated up the soup - it turned out so good. I was very happy to hear that Chris rated last night's soup a 5! Whoop whoop.

I made Chris' lunch for him, and thought that I would share.

Steak and Veggie pita sandwiches

1 small pack of strips of sirloin - so easy, no need to cut up the meat
2 whole wheat pitas
2 cups of mixed salad greens
1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp of light mayonnaise
Cooking spray - I have a pump that I add olive oil to, and use that as my cooking spray

Spray heavy pan with cooking spray and heat up the pan. Add the steak to this pan, season with kosher salt and pepper. If you want to add additional flavours - try a couple of drops of tabasco, teriyaki sauce, or soya sauce. Saute until the meat is cooked to the consistency that you like - i.e., medium, rare, etc.
Prepare the pitas with the mayonnaise, add the greens, mushrooms and then top with the steak. 

For an alternative dressing - mix plain yogurt, garlic (even garlic powder to make it really easy) and fresh dill or dill seasoning and drizzle on top.

Chris' rating was a 3.

Pitas are going to be a new favourite around here. I wouldn't recommend the Safeway Eating Right brand - I have found them too thin, and they don't hold up to well when making sandwiches with them. Although I am a huge fan of the Eating Right products, just not this one.

I hope you are all proud today. 

Enjoy life.

Enjoy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Carrot Love


Hello January 19th - not sure how this came about - but it has. Already week 3 of 2009. To start out week 3, I stayed home today. I am just wanting to heal up the kids (aka kidney). Chris was also off today - so it was a nice treat. Not too much happening - made homemade chicken soup - walked the pups - cleaned the sheets - and that's about it. Really took it easy.

We had a nice visit with Myles and family last night. Brooklyn is so beautiful and I had many nice cuddles with her. Myles and Jessica are young parents - but you can tell that they love this little one and one another - and I wish them nothing but the best on this endeavor. 

The chicken and veggies turned out good, I thought.  Chris said that they didn't have much flavour. Not sure if you noticed, but I have finally posted 'Chris' Recipe Ratings' - I have to give this to him - I have to realize that if he doesn't like something, that I can't be offended - but come on!!!! it's hard. He is not saying 'eeek, not my favourite' to make me mad (I hope -Chris, are you?) - but that the dish needs something. 

I have some soup on the go. The stock is simmering - I added a couple of chicken breasts - bone in, to the stock as well, so there will be lots of flavour and chicken. I have veggies left over - so I plan on sauteing some leeks, then adding the veggies then the stock and then  puree it all up. So it will be a nice creamy soup. When the veggies are all pureed, I will add the delicious chunks of chicken and corn - probably some hot chili flakes. This will be a nice hearty soup - I am looking forward to it. It's going to be a cold night, so the soup will keep us warm.

Chris is at Kung Fu - so he will give me his rating after he has eaten it. He better like it - wink wink.

The pups are wanting a walk, so I had better get busy.

Enjoy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Sun is shining! It's lovely - almost blinding me as I sit in my kitchen writing. Oh wait - I thought it was the sun blinding me, but I think that it is really the messy kitchen. What happens? One day it is almost clean - and then a day later - trash. Somedays it makes me want to cry - well not literally - but just stress. 

I have kind of been out of commission for the weekend. I had a kidney stone on Friday night. I went from lifting some furniture to 'OH MY GOD - I AM DYING'. Fortunately I didn't die, but it was a tough one. I am feeling better now - but it was a tough go. Not sure if you have had one before, but the pain is unbearable. I should have went to the ER - but I seriously could not move.

I missed my run with my new friend, Micki. She is also my 'trainer' - although I haven't trained with her in quite some time. Not sure if I can keep calling her my trainer - embarrassing. I felt badly - I dissed her - but I have now been in contact and let her know why I wasn't there. It would have been a great day for a morning walk and for a good cause. 

We are having Myles, Jessica and new baby Brooklyn for dinner tonight. I can't wait to meet the wee'in. I hope I get to have a cuddle with her. I am keeping dinner very simple - something that I can put in the oven and just let roast - roasted chickens with potatoes, carrots, onions, beans and a salad. For dessert - I cheated. I bought an angel food cake from Safeway - if you haven't tried these before - try one! They are so good, low fat and taste homemade. I bought some fresh organic strawberries and I'll serve it up with some fattening whipped cream :)

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables 

2 roast chickens
8-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes - use whatever you have on hand
4-5 carrots
1 large onion

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In your roasting pan, place your chickens. Around the chickens, add you sliced onions, and the rest of your vegetables - I also like to use chopped up butternut squash - but not tonight. Cut up your vegetables in small - medium cubes and slice your carrots in to large chunks. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on to each chicken and get in there with your hands and rub it in. Do the same for your vegetables - you don't need a lot of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat them. Then add whatever seasoning you love. I like to add poultry seasoning, kosher salt and pepper to the chickens - and fresh rosemary to vegetables. 

Then bake it! That's it. Seriously, prep time is about 10 minutes - and the cooking is low maintenance - cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Take the chickens out of the pan, and let sit, covered with aluminum foil - to keep all of the juices in it - before carving it up.

I hope that you can give this dish a try. I have a lot of upcoming meals and tips for shopping. Stay tuned.

Enjoy!

Chris' Rating: 4

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My gold TOOF!

I survived.  3 hour appointment with the dentist - 3 hours with my mouth open. Not my favourite way to spend an afternoon downtown - but it's over. I have been fretting about this appointment for months - it's came - it's done - and I only have to go back for one more appointment just to fix it all up. I had to have my old silver feelings replaced - and a filling that broke which needed a crown. I had this done last year for another tooth - it was repaired with gold, which I adoringly call - my GOLD TOOF. The moral of this story - go to your dentist regularly. I have a great one if you are on the look for one - he's quite attractive too :)

I decided that since the appointment was somewhat of a marathon, that I wouldn't be making dinner tonight. I know, cheating, but sometimes you really need to. Chris and I pondered what to have - we wanted pasta from B-Red Bakery, but for some reason they aren't doing pasta right now, and it seems like they don't really know if they will have it again soon. So... we ordered from the local Greek and Italian restaurant - Il Greco - for a little pasta and pizza. This wasn't a healthy dinner - but it was good comfort food. If you haven't tried them before, I would recommend them. They have great calamari and chicken souvlaki.

We have a big weekend - moving furniture - road trip to Van to see my dear friend visiting from Dublin. She is so generous and is giving us her bedroom suite. So generous. I don't anticipate a lot of cooking this weekend. I think that we have dinner plans on Sunday night - for our sweet Myles his lovely girlfriend and their sweet new bundle of joy. I want to make something delicious - a nice homecooked meal for them - possibly lasagna with chicken, spinach and ricotta.  We'll see. 

Instead of a recipe, I have a tip for tonight. Kosher Salt. I heart kosher salt. I never used to use salt - not even to add to boiling water. I don't even think that I ever even bought salt. Then I tried sea salt, which I do like. And then after watching countless cooking shows - I decided to give Kosher a try. Now, I am hooked. Kosher salt is supposed to be the most natural salt bringing out the flavours of what you are cooking. If you are in Vancouver, and have a chance to stop by The Gourmet Warehouse - check out their Cote D'Azur Kosher Salt. It's delicious. 

I am curled up sipping hot cocoa, listening to our Magnum wake up from a bad dream (poor pup, but so cute), Jozie is my parrot and Chris is sitting by my side - we have had an entire evening together - Thursdays are my favourite. 

I hope that tomorrow goes by fast - and that the weekend feels endless. Love your time.

Enjoy.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Slow-cooker, I love you.

I really do.  My sister bought me a deluxe slow cooker a couple of years ago, but I haven't really used it - not because I don't think it's practical or didn't have the recipes to use, but because leaving it alone plugged in made me nervous. After a lot of encouragement and getting over potential paranoia, I decided to just go for it.  In the past week and a half, I have made 3 meals. It's so easy!!! SO EASY!!!  It may be my new best friend. 

Working days are busy. Rush in the morning, busy at work, rush home, walk the dogs, and then start dinner. Dinner usually is done by 7. For me, that is late. Chris is usually home around 8:45 - so if I didn't mind eating so late, it would be perfect. I just really look forward to down time. Love the down time.

Tonight's dish was super easy. I prepared some of it last night and then put the rest in this morning before heading to work. Not sure what to call it - Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Tomatoes.

Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Tomatoes

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion - sliced into thin wedges
2 large sweet potatoes - peeled and chopped
1 large can of diced tomatoes
Oregano
Kosher salt and pepper 

The night before prepare your sweet potatoes. Put them in a bowl and cover with water to keep them from browning. Slice onion and store in ziploc bag or plastic container.
The next morning, add onion to the slow cooker, then the chicken, sweet potatoes and then top with tomatoes. Add oregano and salt and pepper and stir.
Cover and put in on low or auto and let your new best friend do the work.
6-8 hours is plenty of time for the dish to be fully cooked. 
This is a hearty dish, that everyone will love.

If you don't have a slow cooker, I will gladly lend mine out for you to try - or borrow a friends. You will love it.

Tomorrow is Thursday - I have a dentist appointment, and I am already stressed. Wish me luck.

Enjoy.

Chris' Rating: 2 - apparently it had an unusual flavour 
 


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rush, rush and then relax


Hello Tuesday fans.

It's been a day of rushing; a day of chaos; and a night of much needed relaxation. This is a short and sweet post. I was treated to a delicious bowl of homemade turkey soup and a wholewheat scone for dessert. My mom is a wonderful cook, and over the past couple of years has changed the way she eats, and makes the most amazing, healthy dishes.

We cook our soups similar, in the sense that we don't really follow a recipe - so here it is to the best of her ability to describe how she cooked up a delicious soup.

Homemade Turkey Soup

Turkey broth - broth from a big turkey - approximately 20 cups
Turkey - cooked
1 large parsnip - peeled and chopped
2 small turnips - peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato - you guessed it - peeled and chopped
6 stalks of celery - sliced
1 bag of grated carrots - approximately 2 cups
Roasted red peppers - done during the summer then frozen
Roasted tomatoes - from the summer
2 small zucchini
1 can of turkey gravy

Add everything into a large soup pot, but, the zucchini and the gravy. Simmer on low for a half hour, or when vegetables are cooked. Then add the zucchini and gray and simmer for a little longer. Season with salt and pepper along the way to taste.

And that's it! So easy, but so good.
Enjoy!

Chris' Rating: 4

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, oh Monday


Back to the grind - so they say. I am happy to be home tonight, with my pups, waiting for Chris (always waiting for Chris - it's a good thing though) and a healthy home-cooked meal - I'm back. Seriously though, my plan for meat and veggies, is really working out well. I feel really good - almost like I can notice a difference already. I am pretty sure that there isn't a difference, but I feel better - and that is the main thing. Healthy mind = healthy body, or is it the other way around???

Tonight, I used a bunch of the veggies that I had in my fridge, boneless skinless chicken breasts and a made up sauce. I will take a picture - and post later - still working out the PC and the LT.
This dish was super easy, and you don't have to follow it to a T. Before we go any further though, I rarely measure - so some of the measurements may be off slightly - i.e., olive oil.

Chicken Curry Stirfry with Coconut milk and Ginger

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into thin strips or cubed
1/2 a cauliflower
3 cups fresh mushrooms - sliced  - cheat, buy them already sliced. They stay fresh - I love them.
4 carrots - julienned
1 cello bag of spinach
(And whatever other vegetables you have on hand)
1 can of Coconut Milk
Ginger - fresh of seasoning
Curry powder
Hot pepper jelly

Instead of using my wok, I often use my electric skillet.  Stir fry chicken in a tbsp of olive oil - when chicken is about half way cooked - about 5 minutes - add your can of coconut milk.  Continue to cook on medium heat.  Add two tbsp of Hot Pepper Jelly*, curry powder and ginger powder. I have a great ginger powder that I got from Epicure selections - if you haven't had a chance to try anything of theirs, I highly recommend it. Stir in the seasonings so that they are incorporated nicely, and then add all of your vegetables.  The aroma and colours are amazing.

Let cook for about 10 minutes, or to the consistency that you like your vegetables. Serve over brown or basmati rice and you have a great meal.

*Chris and I found a great little farmer's market in Niagara on the Lake and bought a delicious jar of Hot Pepper Jelly that I have been wanting to try. We also bought a bunch of other stuff  - a jar of dutch apple jam - but it got eaten but whatever. It's ok, I wasn't waiting to try it since October. Sigh. Normally I would serve the jelly as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers - but this was a lovely addition to the stir fry. If you don't have this, then you can add red pepper flakes, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce - really whatever you like.

I hope that you give this a try. Chris will be home soon, and he will give us his rating.

Enjoy.

Chris' Rating: 5

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Road trip successful


Sunday night - the weekend is over. I had a great weekend - I took my eldest nephew on a hockey road trip. They lost one and won one. We stayed the night in Campbell River - I quite like it there. Connor is a great guy - we had so much fun. I feel quite honoured that he still actually likes to hang out. We ate quite well - Moxie's for dinner, and a Quizno's sub for our trip home. At Moxie's I had a Cocunut Chicken Curry with Rice - ginger and pineapple. I will definitely be making this one night. Starbucks were in abundance, so I could have my daily fix - Venti, half sweet, passion tea. So good. 

I have arrived home to my lovely dogs and partner. I had envisioned a complete home cooked meal for when I arrived home, unfortunately, there wasn't. But that's ok. This way I know that he had a nice relaxing weekend, stress free, and didn't have to worry about cooking a dinner for me.  So as a treat - we are having pizza from B-RED . We ordered the Roasted Chicken and the Two Meat. We LOVE this pizza. They do all organic ingredients - their crust is thin and so delicious and they top the crust off with honey and poppy seeds. I recommend this to anyone. I can't wait until we bite in. I am hoping that we can curl up in front of the tv, pizza in hand, dogs at our feet, and the Golden Globes (I hear Bruce Springsteen is up for a nomination - GO BRUCE!!). I am pretty sure everything by the latter will happen.

I am thinking of what dinner will be already for tomorrow night. I have a feeling that it will be some sort of dish with boneless chicken breasts and lots of veggies - I have a fridge full that need to be eaten. 

Until tomorrow.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

TGIF!


Well, I'm not sure about anyone else, but I am pretty happy that it's Friday. It seems as though Friday took forever to get here. 

I feel kind of like I have cheated. I had dinner at my mom's last night, sushi for lunch, and then a piece of leftover chicken for a 'semi' dinner. No cooking. You may be thinking that I lied when I said that I loved to cook - honestly I do!! Then... I was at my friend Chrissy's for her Wii/Birthday/Ladies only party - so much fun - and she made a delicious Turkey and Black Bean Chili - in the slow cooker.  It was delicious - and I will definitely be trying it soon.

I am away for tomorrow, so no post. So, I thought that I would add a delicious and (what I think to be) decadent dish. I like to serve this with my turkey dinner and recently took it to a Potluck. It looks absolutely fabulous and no one needs to know how easy, it actually is.

Spinach Gratin

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 cups chopped onions (2 large)

¼ cup flour

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups milk

3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 (10 ounce) packages)

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp Kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.

 

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauté pan (I use my big electric skillet, works great) over medium heat – add onions – sauté until translucent – around 15 mins. Add flour and nutmeg – cook and stir for about 2 mins. Add the cream and the milk – cook until thickened – stir with a whisk to ensure no clumping. Squeeze out the spinach to get all excess water out – add the spinach to the sauce. Add ½ cup of the parmesan cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese and then the remaining parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Enjoy!!!

Chris' Rating: 5

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's start over.

Well hello.

I did my post last night and then noticed that there was a post from over a year and a half ago,when I first created my blog,  that just didn't fit. I've removed it, and feel so much better now. It was from a time when I knew that I needed to make some changes in my life - and think that I needed something to help me show my progress - and I guess that I didn't really need that. I have made changes that I am proud of and have so much more to do.

Enough about that though. Let's talk Dinner and food, and cooking and whatever. 

Before I go further into this journey, I have so many people to thank for my love of cooking: My mom - who always made me feel a part of making dinner and letting me make the pudding; Mrs. Sherstan - who always loved to show me new things; My buddy (I still call her  Mrs. Wiseman) - who often walked me through on the phone how to make Minute Rice; My Auntie Babs - an amazing cook and loves to share recipe ideas with me; my Grandma Beech - I lived with her for a year and knew 2 dishes - sweet & sour meatballs and pork chops with mushroom soup and the Minute Rice got me every time; and my Grandma Mitchell - always so graceful when she cooked - making the most amazing and delicious meals. And to all of my friends and family who have blessed me with letting me cook for them. 

I have mentioned my lovely partner Chris, and how he is my biggest fan. I plan on putting together a rating scale for my recipes - he being the one that ranks them. He is very excited about this - so trust me - you will have honest ratings.

Tonight, there was no cooking. It was a treat. We went to my mom's for dinner so that we could help her set up her new plasma flat screen (way to go Jules!!!) and she treated us with a delicious dinner. Chicken, sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and broccoli. So good. And there was even dessert - a nice apple cake - apparently not 'bad' for you. Mmmm?

Happy cooking everyone - more recipes will follow.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Raining = Comfort food.

Welcome! It's my first official blog. My idea is to keep an ongoing journal of what I am cooking - so that I can cook it again, revise the recipe, share with friends, etc.

It's been a miserable couple of days. Wet, wet and more wet. I don't think that the rain has stopped. The dogs are not impressed! 

Tonight's dinner is keeping with my new year's theme of healthy dinners. I know that it is possible to cook healthy and delicious meals each night - so this is my challenge.

So tonight's dinner is so easy, healthy, hearty and there is enough of it leftover for lunch tomorrow (a huge bonus for me).

I don't really have a name for it, but hopefully I will think of one before the end of this blog.

1 large onion
1 pack of ground meat (I used ground pork tonight)
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of navy beans
1 green pepper
1 bunch of spinach
2 cups of mushrooms
Parmesan cheese
Kosher Salt
Dried Oregano
Chili flakes

Saute the onions in olive oil - add a couple of pinches of Kosher Salt - for about 15 minutes until they are translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir - then add your ground meat.  Cook for about another 10-15 minutes. Then add the rest of your ingredients except for the cheese. Let the ingredients simmer for another 15 minutes, or until you think that it is ready. I think that it really depends on how you like the vegetables cooked. When it is all ready sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with Naan bread. And voila, dinner is served. This is a hearty meal that will be sure to fill you up. 

Enjoy.

Chris' Rating: 4