Monday, June 28, 2010

What I like to do.

When I always make Creme Brulee, I always like to take my time. I always like to buy the best ingredients. I always like to use a little torch to brown the top and I always like to eat it very ladylike wearing white elbow length gloves to make me feel like I am royalty eating such a rich and decadent dessert. 

Oh.

Awkward.

I can't pull it off. I'm not that type of lady. I am ladylike. Really I am.

This is how I like to make Creme Brulee.

Remove the glass containers filled with the creme brulee and the little sugar packs from the box. 

Remove the foil cover and sprinkle the little sugar pack on top of the creme brulee. 

Place in the oven that is set to Broil - on the top rack - and broil for 2 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

These were sweet little treats that my mom picked us up at Costco. They were DELICIOUS!! I will definitely be taking a trip out there to pick up a pack of them. They come in a box of 8 - we split the box with my sister. We still have 2 left. Ask my sister how many she has left. Go ahead! Seriously ask her!! :) 

I have never made creme brulee before - and not sure if I ever will - but I can whip up a batch of this CB anytime.

Loves.

Enjoy!!




Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Sunday


Hello Lei wearer. Cute?
Don't be embarrassed - lots of boys wear pink lei's.

Such a pretty girl. Pink is her colour.

Yes, everyone is looking at you b/c you look nice with a lei.

Yes, you're still beautiful even when you're trying to wink.

We are just home from a Wedding shower - slash - barbeque for our friends Alanna and Steven - getting married this August 1st. (They gave the ladies leis - so I wanted my pups to try it on too). It was a great afternoon hosted by Joan and Subreena. It was at a beautiful place out in West Saanich. There was a llama, chickens, beautiful lush green grass, lots of friends and delicious food. 

I baked Rhubarb Custard Pies to bring. They are an easy dessert to make and they 'travel' well. I didn't try them - b/c there were brownies - so I hope that they were tasty. 

Every time that Chris and I head out on West Saanich Road - it reminds me how much I really want to live there. I love it. 

Alright - the weekend is drawing to an end. Not sure how it goes by so quickly - but it does.

Cheers to a good week.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summa time.

Beside Yard Barb's beautiful rose - one of many

It's been a great summer day. It's been a great day all around. I haven't done much. I am trying to not feel guilty about this. I feel that when it's the weekend that we should be out enjoying every minute of it - being at the beach, hiking, sitting on a balcony of some pub... and then I remind myself that it was a long week and it's ok to just want to stay close to home, enjoy our deck, make a good dinner, do some chores, and just relax. 

This past week was a bit of an emotional week. I won't get into it - but my patience have been tried and my insecurities are apparent. I am fortunate to have a wonderful best friend/fiance, supportive friends and a loving family. 

Chris and I just came in from having dinner on the deck. I forgot to take a picture of dinner - but I slow roasted a pork shoulder (gross to say it that way) with a bunch of spicy spices, and then whipped up a sauce to add to the pulled pork that I was done. It was a spicy tomato with roasted onions and garlic and jalepenos. I made a fresh batch of guacamole to put on top. And then whipped up a batch of my new 'addiction' Quinoa - in the rice cooker with peppers. 

If you haven't tried the quinoa - but want to - I would recommend doing it in the rice cooker. It's my favourite way, over boiling it. It has the same measurements as rice - 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water. And that's it. What I have been doing that I love - is as soon as it is cooked, I put it in a big bowl and squeeze a lemon over, season it with kosher salt & pepper, and then put it in the fridge to let it cool. And then do a greek salad to go with - adding only a small touch of olive oil and cider vinegar.

I bought a big bunch of locally grown organic strawberries last week at the Root Cellar. They were gorgeous - and if I had read the sign right when I first picked them up - I may not have brought them home. They were a bit pricey - but so worth it. As Chris likes to say 'You can't put a price on health' - so I don't feel too guilty when I indulge on something healthy.

I was going to try making freezer jam with them - but that seemed like a bit too much work. So instead I found a recipe online for Strawberry Lemonade - and thought that I would make something similar. This is super easy - and super delicious. Next time I will definitely add the vodka. Yumma! (PS - there are a lot of pics of this - b/c I couldn't get over how vibrant the red of the strawberries were - so beautiful).


Strawberry Lemonade

4-5 cups of fresh strawberries - hulled
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
Carbonated water
Sugar to taste

In your blender add the strawberries, lemon juice, zest of the lemon and 1 tbsp of sugar (you may want to add more if you don't want it to be so tart). Puree the ingredients together so that you have a nice smooth consistency.

Pour the mixture into single glasses or a jug. If you are using single glasses - fill the glasses half way with the strawberry mixture. Add the carbonated water - slowly - and stir to mix it all together. 


And that's it! I think that you can make an 'adult friendly' version by adding a bit of vodka - and it would be delicious. I also think that you could do this with blackberries too - or do a combo of different berries.

Giddy up!!

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

DIYI

Sometimes I sit in my living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, deck - actually any room in my house - and think about how I would like to re-decorate. How I would like to redo these rooms. And then I remember that a. I am saving for a wedding and b. Chris and I have a. no patience for any sort of home renovations and b. we are not handy. So then, I go back to sitting in my room and thinking about what I would like to do.

I call these times DIYI's = Do It Yourself Ideas. Most people are DIY (do it yourself)'ers and I am not. I do enjoy decorating a house - so if that counts as a partial DIY then I will take that. 

I did do a little 'improvement' to a table a couple of weekends. And I also did a picture collage in our Suite B.

Chris brought this little table home from the studio a couple of years ago. It was used to hold the big water bottles. When Chris picked up a new water cooler - he brought this home - and it sat on our deck collecting cob webs. I used it last year to put a lantern on. This year I thought of giving it a fresh look with a coat of white paint. 

In the end I think that although it is still a little table that will probably break in half if you put anything on it, it looks fresh and so much better. 

I have been collecting frames - black frames with white mats - for years. I knew that I wanted to put them on a wall with all black and white photos. Over the years I couldn't decide where I wanted to put them and my idea of just black and white photos changed to mostly colour - as some of the photos that I wanted to post could not be done in black and white - the colours were so vibrant.


We stopped renting out our suite - I like to now call in Suite B. We have a wall in the living area that was blank. Baron. Nothing to it. So I finally went through all of my photos and found our favourites and had them printed. I used London Drugs online to have them developed. Easiest thing ever. 

Uncle David helped me hang them all. Chris supervised from the couch driving us nuts. In the end, we are both (Chris always says he doesn't have my vision but always loves the end result) so happy with it. I love it. It has changed that room completely. I love seeing all of the pictures and love how they all transformed the room.

The other night when I had the fam over for dinner - Jules brought a great little appetizer that she was testing out the recipe for. I guess they were more like a snack. I don't really care what they were b/c they were DEELISH. I need to have Jules be a guest chef. I will ask her soon - b/c I have another delicious salad recipe that she made for me last week.


Cheesies

250 grams Imperial cheese (softened)
1 cup. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. worchestire sauce or tabasco sauce
4 cups of Rice Krispies

Cream all ingredients really well together and then add 4 cups rice Krispies.
Stir together. Make into little balls and flatten on to cookie sheet with a fork.
Bake at 325 deg, for 15 minutes or until golden.
They keep well in a well sealed tin. Can be frozen.
 

And that's it - they were so good - a nice little snack.

I am off to sit in the yard and enjoy the wind. Dear wind - please come back in the fall.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Chef - Pilar

Hello Summer fans. I think that it is finally here. Not sure if it is here to stay - but it is definitely here. I rushed home from work today - put on some shorts and a tank - and headed to the deck to do a little catch up bloggin'. Mon and Tues this night I had friends visiting - so ran out of time - I was eager to do a little posting.


Monday - first day of Summer - June 21st - was also our wee Magnum's birthday. He's 2! I know, some people might find that knowing your pets birthday is odd - but I don't. We don't do a big party or anything - seriously - there are people that do though - but he did get a little treat of steak. We can't imagine him life without him - and we almost did have to - remember that??
He is such a loving little pup - and he is a great companion to his grumpy sister.

I am pretty excited - that since I am a bit behind on my recipes - I actually have a bit of a recipe bank. It's not making me money or anything - and won't help me retire early, but it does help when I am bored with a dinner I have made and don't want to share it with you. I just go to the bank - grab one - and my work is done. 

Today - although I seem to have a bit more time than normal - I am going use a recipe from the bank. I have a lot of watering ahead of me tonight - and plan to do a bit of R&R.

I am excited to post a recipe from a Guest Chef - Pilar.  I work with Pilar. She is a very funny girl - and makes the work day go by much easier when she is entertaining. When I first called her to come in for an interview - I was pronouncing her name 'Peelar'. She didn't correct me for quite sometime. Embarrassing. Pilar inspired us to make a Mexican dish for our Cooking Lesson - and I was very happy with her suggestion.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from the Food Network and she made it for her partner Laura's birthday. I am definitely going to try making this dessert - as I can only imagine what a fan favourite it is.

Meet Pilar:


What is your favourite food?  Mole is my most favourite meal of all time. The smell, the flavour, the many ways of eating it and the many types of Mole are just a little piece of heaven on earth.  My favourite mole is from Oaxaca.

If you could have dinner with one person who would it be? What would you eat? I think ( do not mean to get all mushy ) but I would love to have dinner with my mom one more time, my sister and my dad would also be there and we would go to what used to be our favourite restaurant , it does not exist anymore but it used to be a Swiss restaurant, they had the best trout there, awesome pate,  cheese fondue, and many other great dishes. We used to have a lot of fun together there and nice chats, it would be awesome to talk to her at this age and time. *sigh*

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?  My favourite utensil has to be the 'spatula' even the same is AWESOME.. try it say it out loud: pass me the spatula, ooo red blue yellow spatula, SPAAAAAAAATULAAAA. Also spatulas are super helpful, bendy and pick up everything you left behind so it does not go to waste. I wonder if this is a psychological test, I wonder if by telling you my favourite utensil you will be able to find something about myself or my life. Will I win the lottery? 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Ingredients
For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used about a table spoon instead)
1 cup buttermilk (I used maybe a bit more... probably half a cup more)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
For decorating
1 ½ – 2 batches peanut butter frosting 
Miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

Directions
1. For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.  (I Actually only used ONE 9x10'' round pan)
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. 4. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
5. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.) Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Peanut Butter Icing:
·        1 cup confectioners' sugar
·        1 cup creamy peanut butter
·        5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
·        3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·        1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
·        1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. 

Ok - if your mouth is not watering already, we shouldn't be friends. Just kidding!! I heart you.

Alright friends - I hope that you are enjoying the sun.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

happy dad day.


happy father's day.

hello friends. i have decided to be lazy, and type in all lower case. it's father's day - so i have decided that it's all ok to do that.

i hope that all of the fathers out there have had a fabulous day with their families. i hope that all of you that have fathers in your lives - that you were able to celebrate it in the way that you love.

for those who have fathers that have passed on - i hope that you have been able to sit and remember your best memories of them. 

my dad passed away 13 years ago this past boxing day. i miss him so. i miss him like it just happened yesterday. i sometimes think that i can't really believe that he is not here. i miss him so. i like to think back to our fathers days that we did have together. we would always do a bbq with steaks, and we would usually get him a few different gifts - something that he could wear and then something fun. he was always so appreciative of what we did for him - and he always laughed. i still feel that it is unfair that he left us so early - and although i don't know why it had to be that way - but things happen for a reason - and i will just try to remember that.

i had a bit of a panic tonight when i couldn't find some really good pictures of him. i know that i have a lot of pictures of him, but i just don't have enough of them displayed around the house. i knew that i had these, which bring a tear to my eye b/c i know that he was so happy in both of them. 

this was my dad and mom - at my dad's 25th anniversary at eurocan.

my dad and i dancing at my grade 12 graduation. 

i had a great day today. i spent part of the day with jocelyn, her sister robyn and robyn's daughter marissa. we went and did a little shopping - we all came home happy with bags in hand. 

this evening we had my mom, sister and nephew and their student for dinner. we had a great feast, and got to spend some time out on the deck.  chris cooked up some amazing steaks, and I whipped up a very quick and easy pasta dish.

lemon pasta with prawns and vegetables

1 box of whole wheat linguine 
2 lemons
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 bunch of green onions - chopped
1 red, yellow and orange pepper - chopped
2 cups of grape tomatoes
prawns - i used a bag of frozen organic - shelled and deveined with the tails on
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup feta cheese - crumbled
1/3 cup basil leaves - chopped
kosher salt
pepper

in a large pot of boiling water for the pasta - add the juice of one large lemon. boil the pasta until al dente. 

in a large skillet, saute the green onion in a drizzle of olive oil. saute for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. saute for another minute, ensure over medium heat being sure to not burn the garlic. add the peppers and then the tomatoes with the zest of a large lemon and the juice and then the white wine.  give it all a good stir and then add the prawns. when the prawns are pink, reduce the heat to low, add the basil, black pepper and the feta cheese. 

add the pasta to the prawns and vegetables and gently stir. 

top with fresh shredded parmesan - if you desire.

and that's it. super easy. super flavourful. the lemon is very refreshing. 

well friends - i hope that your weekend was splendid. give all the papas that you know a hug and remind them how much they are loved.

loves.

enjoy!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cooking lesson - Dessert.

I scream. You scream. We all scream for Ice Cream.

When I was a young girl - I was so envious of all of my friends and other girls my age that could do that high pitch scream. The scream that goes so high that it is almost at that glass breaking range. You know, when your playing tag, and then all of a sudden it's you that is being chased and then all of a sudden you just let out a scream? Do you know it? Well, I never could do the high pitch. Mine was always this raspy, deep, yell. No scream. Nothing. I picture that if I really needed to be heard - and I was heard - that people would have been like 'where is the man that is yelling?' Not very attractive I guess. Anyways, I so was envious of those girls. They would have been the Mariah Carey's of screaming and I would have been the Melissa Etheridge screamer. 

Wow - my deepest darkests are coming out.

Now, let's get to the good stuff. Ice Cream. Oh how I love thee. I really do. Always have. I love it pretty much every single way that you can imagine. My favourite of all time is anything with chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, caramel, oreo cookies, chocolate, chocolate and probably some sort of chocolate. I used to in my very young years, love bubblegum. I would hold the bubblegums in my hand until the ice cream and cones were done - and then I would chew the gum. I am guessing that you can imagine how messy this would have got. Real messy. Just ask my sister sometime - she will be oh so happy to tell you about it. To this day, although I try to eat my ice cream in a very ladylike way - I still get it all over me. 

The inspiration for our dessert for our cooking lesson, believe it or not, was the cutest little waffle maker that my mom got for me for Christmas this past year. I wanted to use it to make small little waffle cones. I had a recipe for ice cream that I had made before that I thought would go deliciously with the cones - but then, I found (what I didn't know would become my new favourite) another recipe that I knew I needed to try. Coconut ice cream.

Now wait - before you move on to your next favourite blog - you DO NOT need an ice cream maker! I am being serious. You just need a pan, a freezer and a spoon. Wait! Please don't go to another blog!  This really is right up there with one of the easiest things to make. It takes some time - but the kind of time that you can have a nap, read a book, paint your toe nails... while making it. 

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream with Lemon Waffles

1 can Coconut Milk
1 can Evaporated Skimmed Milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup - coconut - save some for garnish - 1/4 cup should be fine
Zest of half a lemon

To toast the coconut, place it in a heavy pan (cast iron if you have one) and heat it over medium-high heat until golden brown.

In a large bowl, mix all of the milks together, add the toasted coconut and the zest of the lemon. Mix all of this together and place it in a 9x12 baking dish. Place it in your freezer, uncovered, and stir very often. And that's it! 

It's important to continue stirring it. If it is left to freeze without being stirred, it will become a frozen block. 

We added blackberries - and although they were delicious - we would have omitted them from the ice cream. 

Waffles with Lemon Zest

2/3 cup softened butter
Lemon zest from half a lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
2 pinches of baking powder
Kosher salt
Oil for waffle grill

Beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla together until it is fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix the flour baking powder and slowly add (or sift if you have one) to the butter/egg mixture, stirring it all together. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the waffle grill and lightly grease the pan. Using a small ladle, add about 3 tbsp at a time to the waffle grill and heat for 3 minutes. Depending on your grill, like the one I have - the waffles need to be flipped. 

The lemon zest in the waffles is so light - but so flavourful. They were just perfect, and I can't wait to make them again. These would also make a very nice breakfast. 

Chris rated this a 5!!

All in all the cooking lesson was a lot of fun and we all learned a lot. I have some new favourite recipes and I hope that you give them all or one or two a try. If you do, let me know how they turned out for you.

The weekend is here - HOORAH FOR THE WEEKEND!! Oh my, how I have waited for you this week.

Have a good one.

Loves.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tostadas de tinga de pollo - Cooking Lesson





Tostadas de tinga de pollo - de what? 

This was our delicious main course of our cooking lesson last week. I forgot to mention yesterday, that the Quinoa we made was thanks to my cousin, Margo. It was her idea for us to try it. So happy that she gave us that idea.

For the main course, my friend, Pilar, suggested that we make something Mexican. Not only is Pilar from Mexico, but she is also a huge soccer fan - and I think that she wanted to make a dish in celebration of Mexico in the World Cup. Stay tuned, as Pilar will be a Guest Chef very soon. She has shared an incredible recipe that I cannot wait to not only post, but try as well.

Tostadas de tinga de pollo is spicy, stewed chicken. This was not a difficult dish, but there were quite a few different steps - so it isn't a super fast dish to make - so I will not consider it Fast Food. We served the tostadas with Salsa Verde - which is oh so lovely too. Please don't be discouraged though, the time that you put into it, will be so worth it.

Tostadas de tinga de pollo with Salsa Verde

Tinga de pollo
3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water

Olive oil
2 large onions - finely chopped 
1 small onion - finely chopped - trust me - it will make sense*
5 large roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 small can of chipotle chiles (canned in adobo)
Adobo sauce from the canned chiles
2 1/2 cups of water
Kosher salt

*Or just use 2 large onions and split them up as per the recipe below.

In a covered skillet or pot, place all of the first set of ingredients and cook over medium-high heat, until the chicken is cooked. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken, and set aside the broth. Shred the chicken with two forks and set aside.


In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil and add the first two chopped onions. Saute on medium-low heat until onions are translucent. While the onions are cooking, place the tomatoes, garlic, the rest of the onion, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce and water into a blender and blend well.  

Once the onions in the pan are soft, increase the heat to medium-high and then pour the blended sauce into the skillet and stir. Cook the sauce for 2 minutes, and then add the shredded chicken and cover. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes - stirring often. Add water if necessary and season with kosher salt to taste. 

Salse Verde (Tomatillo salsa)
6 medium green tomatillos
1-2 large hot chiles
1/2 onion - cut into 4 quarters
1 garlic clove 
1 bunch of cilantro
Kosher salt 

Cut an X in the top of each of the tomatillos. Add the tomatillos - cut side up - and the onions to a shallow baking dish - and broil on high for about 10 minutes - or until the vegetables are lightly charred and soft. 


Place the tomatillos, onion and the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend. Blend well and season with kosher salt to taste. The salsa will be running and not thick - but that's how it is supposed to be, so don't worry.


You will also need: tortillas, refried beans shredded head lettuce and shredded cheese.

Tostadas - we didn't fry our flour tortillas. We used small corn tortillas that we heated on low heat, 250 degrees, for about a half an hour. 

Refried beans - we didn't make our own - we cheated and bought canned - they are still delicious.

The recipe calls for queso fresco - crumbled, but I can't find that here, so I used shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Time to put it all together.

Take a tortilla, and cover it with shredded lettuce. Then add the refried beans, the Tinga de pollo, the shredded cheese and the salsa verde.  

And there you have a delicious Mexican feast. These were so flavourful. I will definitely make these again. I dare you to try these - you will be happy you did.

Chris rated this a 5!!


Beth enjoying the meal we laboured over.

Steph - although looking shocked because A. I was taking a photo or B. Because she was surprised at how delicious the dinner was.

Well, the recipes from our cooking lessons are almost all posted. The next recipe is dessert - who doesn't love dessert? Stay tuned.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cooking lesson - Side Dish

Cooking lesson - Main course. 

I should have been posting this earlier - but life has been a bit busy. I spent 2 days in Kennewick, WA for work. We had a good time, and learned lots. I had a delicious pizza at a brew pub - so I am definitely going to try and duplicate it for you folks.

I also did a lot of gardening on the weekend - trying to transform the backyard from slumsville to a little bit of paradise for us. Really I could have some plants and my lounger in the sun, and it would feel like paradise. 

For the main course's side dish, we used Quinoa. Quinoa - know what it is? My Auntie Babs sent me this link - it is great and is full of the benefits and some recipes.  I had never cooked with it before our first lesson, I had tried a small amount of it in a salad, and thought that it was ok. When we decided we were making a Mexican main dish, I didn't think that a salad would go as nicely as rice would - so I thought it was a good idea to try making the Quinoa similar to how we would rice - and therefore decided to make Spanish Style Quinoa.

Spanish Style Quinoa

Olive oil
1 onion - chopped
1 cup of Quinoa 
1 green pepper - chopped 
2 cups of chicken stock - or water
1 10 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp chili powder
Canned/jarred jalepeno peppers - chopped - use as many as you like for the heat

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, quinoa and pepper until the quinoa is lightly browned and the onions are soft. Stir in the stock and the canned tomatoes, and add the jalepenos and chili powder. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring regularly.

After 30 minutes, it is ready to serve. The quinoa should have expanded like rice would, and still have a nice light crunch to it.

Chris rated this a 5!!!

I would definitely make this again. I think that it would be good to add corn to this or even more peppers. And as another little treat - you could add a small amount of shredded cheese.

If you give this a try, let me know!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cooking lesson - Appetizer

Well, well - nice of me to stop by and write a bit. I kind of can't believe that it is already Saturday evening. It seems just like yesterday that I had the girls over for a little cooking - the week has once again zoomed past.

We spent the day today not doing too much of anything. We started the morning off with some pumpkin pie pancakes (I will post these soon) and then did a nice dog walk, followed by some plant shopping. It was really hot here today. Just beautiful.

Dear Summer - we are glad that you are starting to show your face - we have missed you.

So, let's chat about our appetizer that we made on Wednesday night. I really loved how our menu came to be. At first, I really wanted to make tiny, savory, waffle cones and then fill them with something like a salmon mousse. Then we thought about making the waffle cones for dessert. Then we talked about having some sort of seafood for our main - and Beth doesn't love seafood - but suggested that we do something with it for an appy - which was a great idea. And then Steph mentioned that she has the recipe for the Spotted Prawn mayo for Red Fish Blue Fish. Then... Beth said that she had a full head of Iceberg lettuce and why not lettuce wraps - and it was a done deal.

I, did not know what Spotted Prawns were - I know how awkward and embarrassing for me - so I used a bag of frozen regular organic prawns. I thought that they were good - obviously not as good as fresh - but sometimes  you need to improvise. We also improvised on the recipe as well - and I am glad that we did, because it was DELICIOUS. I would definitely, and will definitely, make these again. They were light, refreshing, flavourful and just perfect to start a meal. 

Our dear Steph - prepping the prawns

Prawn Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Prawn Mayo

One half pound of prawns - spotted if you know them - or any type that is uncooked - and deveined (thanks to Steph - she took care of this task for us)
Olive oil
Juice of one lime and one lemon
3 cloves of garlic - minced
6-8 jalepenos - jarred/canned are best to use - dice up - save some of the juice
Kosher salt and pepper
3 tbsp of hot sauce 
1 cup of mayonnaise 
1 head of ice berg lettuce

Flash sear half of the prawns on high heat, with the olive oil, lime juice and garlic (save some for the next set of prawns to be cooked).

In a food processor, transfer the cooked prawns and pulse until they are well blended. Remove the prawns and mix them with the mayonnaise in a separate bowl. Add the kosher salt, pepper and the hot sauce and the jalepenos with a bit of the juice. 

Whip this all together and refrigerate.

In the same pan with the lemon and some of the leftover garlic. Sear the prawns over high heat in a dash of olive oil.

For the lettuce wraps - gently pull each of the leaves off - these will hold your prawns and mayo - so try to keep them in once piece. For more details - and a different variety of lettuce wraps - take a look HERE

A little out of focus - I think that I may have been blind that night. 

Now that everything is prepared, you are ready to enjoy.

Chris rated this a 5!!

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend. 

Loves.

Enjoy!!