Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Help Wanted. Apply within.


WEDDING IN 3 DAYS. CAN'T TALK.

Looking for an Assistant for the last 3 days. Must haves:
- Patience
- The ability to smile and not comment on anything that I say, unless I ask for a comment
- To run around after my 'soon to be husband' and put his coat away where it belongs, so that it isn't left on the couch, the chair, the bathroom door knob, the kitchen counter...
- To not forget anything
- To write my lists for me and then do everything on them
- To help me lose 20 lbs in 3 days
- To not laugh at me when I ask them to help me lose 20 lbs in 3 days

If you know of such a person - please have them apply.

I am having 25 (or so) people in for dinner tomorrow night. Neat.

On the menu:
Cheeseball
Antipasto platter
Treats for dessert

Alright friends - not sure when, where or if I will have a chance to write again before my big day - but I really want to. So am going to add that to my list for my new Assistant.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it snow!


Jozie did NOT love the snow - and wanted to stay curled up in a blanket - all day.

4 days before my wedding I woke up at 7:40 to let the cat out. It was cool, I was tired, I decided to go back to work b/c I am on holidays. I slept in for the first time in a very long time. When I woke up at 9:40, outside changed from dry and cold - to SNOW. I actually couldn't believe it. It was incredible. I love the snow. I love the cold. I love that it's winter, and our winter wedding is happening in 4 days. 4 DAYS!!!!

I love this shot of Magnum's face - he looks so hurt that she won't share the blanket.

4 days before my wedding, I couldn't meet the wedding coordinator b/c the roads were a little too icy for me to feel comfortable driving downtown. Although our truck has 4 wheel drive, good tires, and I grew up driving in the snow, I don't feel so comfortable with the other crazies on the road.

4 days before my wedding I almost finished all of the favours. Well, almost... I still have more to do with them. I feel that it will all be endless. Part of me will be excited for the day to come and everything to be completed - but then part of me will miss it all.

For tonight's dinner - I had to make a quick dinner, that was full of comfort. How could it not be on such a cold and blistery evening.

I made this Meat Pie. I used a new reduced fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I could make this pie every night and Chris would love it. I served it with lots of fresh mushrooms instead of canned. And I served it with a salad.

We are having dinner at our house on Thursday night. Wedding friends, out of towners, family - I am not quite sure what is going to be on the menu. I am thinking of cooking up a bunch of appys and then a huge pot of chili with all the fixin's. Not quite sure - but I know that if over 20 are over for dinner 2 days before we wed, that it should be an easy dinner.

Ok - I need to get off my Royal Canadian and hit the hay.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Countdown continues... 5 days!




6 Days before my wedding, I had my practice hair-do done for my wedding. I won't share the details, just in case Chris is reading this - as he wants to be surprised. This is what it looked like when I left - but it wasn't like this while I was there. You can't see it, but I have a little braid across the front. I also did a lot of wedding stuff - I felt like I was 'elbow high' in wedding stuff. When I was thinking that, I thought about the saying 'elbow high'. I think that the only time that I have been 'elbow high' in stuff is when I have had to change a poopy diaper or clean up something that my cat used as a make shift litter box. I am not prepared to share that story. Not quite yet. Not ever, maybe.

5 Days before my wedding - I am up early. Well 8 AM. I have my friend, Maegan, coming for lunch with her two wee'ins. We are going to go over deets for the wedding. I am making chicken strips and french fries with gravy for them. The fries are from a bag - I may make poutine, and the chicken strips are marinading in buttermilk and will be breaded with panko breadcrumbs and parmesan. I also just spoke with my future SIL - although I already call her my SIL. She is a lot of fun - and I CAN'T wait until they come this week. I am also going shopping tonight to this mall event with Jules. I don't really need anything - but it will be fun.

I made dinner last night. 'Bout time. Dinner was inspired by a bag of pasta that Sam gave me for my bridal shower last weekend. Rigatoni. Delicious. It was packaged in a brown bag - rustic looking - love it. And, an opened bottle of white wine.

Rigatoni in White Wine Mushroom Sauce

1 bag of rigatoni
1 medium onion - chopped
3 chicken breasts
3 tbsp flour - divided
3 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup chopped sage
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2 cup of white wine
2/3 cup cream - or stock
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese

To prepare the chicken, use a mallet to flatten the meat. If you don't have a mallet (aka, what my mom said once - you pound your meat with it) then wrap it in saran and use the end of a hammer or a rolling pin. I used the pin. Flatten it out. Then cut the breasts into pieces - not small pieces - long strips and then cut in half or thirds. Place the chicken in a bowl and season with kosher salt and pepper and then toss it in 2 tbsp the flour.

In a skillet (medium heat) - saute the onion in a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of kosher salt. Saute until golden - about 8 minutes. Then add the chicken. Add a bit more olive oil if needed. Brown the chicken until it is cooked - 5 minutes per side. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan.

Sage - line the leaves on top of one another - and chop into small pieces

Then add the sliced mushrooms. Saute them - they will brown nicely in the juices from the onion and chicken. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the butter, sage and garlic and saute for another couple of mins. Toss in the remaining flour and stir it so that the mushrooms are coated. Then add the wine, if you are going to have a taste of the wine and stir, poor a separate glass :) - stir it all in. Then slowly add the cream. Stir it all together so that it forms a sauce. If you want it thicker, add a little more wine, or stock or cream. Return the chicken to the pan, and let the sauce simmer. Oooh lala - it's so tempting not to eat it all at this point. Just before the pasta is ready to be added, add in the parmesan cheese.

Prepare the rigatoni - or any type of pasta that will absorb the thick sauce - i.e., penne, rotini.

When the rigatoni is al dente, drain. Add 1/3 of the pasta to the sauce at a time to let it coat the pasta. I like doing it this way so that the pasta gets all coated in the saucy goodness.


My biggest fans while I am cooking - oh the life.

Alrighty - I need to get out of my pj's and take the pups on a hike. I am excited to still see a bit of snow on the ground. That means it's still cold - and I can wear a winter toque.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Countdown continues... 7 days!

Just what I will look like on my wedding morning.

10 days before my wedding, I had our new pup sitter come over for tea, so that she could meet the pups. Her name is Karen, and I used to work with her. I feel so fortunate that she will be hanging out with them, as I was so worried that I wouldn't find someone.

9 days before my wedding I made italian sausages, perogies and sauteed cabbage for dinner. It was good. It was a tasty dinner - I know not the most healthiest - but it was an easy dinner and Chris rated it a 5.

8 days before my wedding - Chris was involved in an altercation at 5 AM at work. A hoodlum tried to carjack his friend's brand new truck. Chris, thankfully was able to use the skills that he has trained for, for years. It was a bit of an emotional day - Chris is fine and so is his friend. The hoodlum has been charged and hopefully he will be off the streets for awhile.

7 days before my wedding was my last day of work for 2 weeks. It is also Chris' stag. I had my GF Tracy over, with her daughter, Emma. We had hors d'oeuvres, and pizza and then Tracy helped me with a project for our wedding. Did I mention that tomorrow, it is 6 days! SIX. On this day as well, it is snowing! Oh how I love the snow!!!

No recipes tonight friends. But, I do recommend making a pot of White Bean Soup, this weekend.

I am just going to take the pups out for a quick run in the snow. We all love it. I might make Jozie wear her jacket. She dislikes the coat. She acts like she is being scolded when she has to put it on - and Magnum acts like he doesn't know who she is. It's hillarious.

Ok, have a good night.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teeka.


Tikka Masala

With all the plans for the wedding - all the excitement, the planning, the wee bit of stress, and just the overall 'stuff' that is involved - I kind of feel that I have 'forgotten' about the stuff that I have been thinking about for so long when it has come to this day.

When Chris and I started dating and then got 'serious' (not really sure when that happened actually - one day we were 'hanging out' and the next day we were moving in together) I thought about marriage - but it wasn't a priority. It seemed like marriage had always been something that I thought would naturally happen with the course of a serious relationship, and when Chris and I had been together for a few years, I thought about why I wanted to get married and why it wasn't such a huge issue if we didn't. I thought about my dad not being there to walk me down the aisle, and it didn't seem as important. I know that may seem a little strange, but it just was the way it was. And then over a year ago, something changed - and I really wanted to get married. I am so grateful to have my brother walking me down the aisle. He is going to make that part of my day so special, more than I could ever have imagined. I know that my dad will be watching, and be so proud seeing his son in his kilt, and probably saying something like 'J*s*s Ch**st Child, slow down'.

Chris' mom not being there on our special day is heartbreaking for me (and for Chris too, obviously). After we were engaged, Chris' mom would call us regularly and discuss what we were doing for the wedding. She had so many questions - and I know it's because she wanted to be a part of it. She wanted know as much as she could because she lived far away and couldn't be here to help us with the planning. She was excited to host the Rehearsal Dinner, to walk Chris down the aisle, to know what I was wearing, to tell me that the dogs could stay at the hotel, when they would come, where they would stay - she had it all sorted. The last couple of months before she passed, we didn't talk as much about it. It makes me sad to know that she doesn't get to see or be a part of all the little details that we have put together; that she won't be sitting beside her handsome husband watching her 2nd son be married; that she won't have almost all of her kids (missing 1) all together; that she won't get to dance with her son; that she won't sit back at some point during the night and realize that she was happy, full of bliss.

So, since they aren't here with us - and others will be missed as well, I know that we will remember them throughout the day and at some point during the day or evening, we will have a little sign, so we know that they are with us.

Ok, I need to move on so that I don't curl up in a blanket and eat bonbons. Thankfully I don't have any bonbons, but I do have a lot of blankets.

Last night I made my version of Tikka Masala. I was watching a cooking show the other day and got the idea of what it was, and knew that I wanted to make it. The only thing that I really know about Tikka Masala - is that my friend from Kitimat - Linda 'hey Linda!!! See you at our wedding!!! - has a dog named Teeka. She is a lovely pup - and was our Maggie's very best BF. They would play for hours. Literally, hours. Anyways, that's really all that I know about it. In the end, the dish was really good - and I am happy to add it to the 'recipe box'.

Tikka Masala

1 large red onion - cut into thin strips
Time (that's what you will need to caramelize the onion)
1/2 cup white wine
2 small zucchinis - julienned
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp pepper flakes
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground ginger - or fresh
2 tbsp of curry powder
Kosher salt and pepper
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups of plain yogurt
4 chicken breasts - chopped into small cubes

Rice
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas

In a large pot or skillet (that will hold all of the above ingredients - minus the rice) drizzle a bit of olive oil and saute the onions over medium heat. Give them a generous sprinkle of kosher salt. This will take some time. Maybe 30 minutes to get them all good and caramelized. When they are brown and delicious and full of flavour (oh how I love caramelized onions) add the white wine and stir so that the wine deglazes the pan to get all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add the zucchini and let them simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add in all of the dried spices - add more chili flakes if you like the heat.

Then add the tomatoes and yogurt and stir it all together. Then add the chicken. Let the chicken continue to simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

When your rice is almost completely cooked, add the frozen peas so that they defrost and slightly cook.

And that's it. Serve a nice spoonful of rice and then top it with the tomatoey goodness.

Chris rated this a 4. We'll talk about this later :)

The thing that I really like about this dish, is that it can be vegetarian so easily. A lot more vegetables could be added and instead of chicken, chick peas or tofu could be used.

If you give this a try - please let me know how it turns out.

Alright, I am curled up watching a little tele with my fiance and my pups. Fiance for only 12 more days! 12 MORE DAYS!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Countdown continues... 13 days!

13 days and counting! The last 13 days have come and gone by so quickly, so I know that the next 13 days will even go by faster. I am trying to soak it all in - remember everything - and embrace it all.

Yesterday, another surprise! I went over to my mom's for a typical visit - we were supposed to go for her to try on her dress - but instead when I got to her house and was about to open the door, my beautiful 5 year old niece opened the door and gave me a huge shock. She, with my SIL and other niece, two of my aunts, my cousin, my cousin's wife and daughters, my sister, nephew, some of my mom's friends, my BIL's GF, Tina and her son, Tracy, Maegan and her daughter, my neighbour Barb. I hope that I didn't forget anyone). It was such an awesome surprise. I was truly spoiled. I didn't want any of them to have to leave - I got a little teary when I had to say 'goodbye' to my nieces. I will see them again very shortly. 11 days!

My mom and sister did such a fantastic job. My mom makes the best little tea sandwiches. In fact I had some for breakfast this morning.

I think that there is so much fun and excitement for the wedding day, and when I got engaged I thought about the actual day. And now that the day is almost here, it's been days like yesterday, or last week, or my shower in September, or the dress shopping, all of these experiences are what make the actual day so special. Sigh. Love it all.

So, yesterday, I mentioned that I hadn't been cooking. I haven't went on strike, or given away much kitchen, I just haven't really had time. We haven't been living on beef jerky and applesauce, don't worry. Although Chris might like that - he does love applesauce, and I never buy beef jerky, so it would be a rare treat.

On Thursday night we had friends in for dinner - it was made within 20 minutes and in the oven - Baked Spaghetti. This is a 'crowd' pleaser. It's easy to make - and really is delicious. I think that it will be one of my fall back dishes when Chris' family is staying with us.

I did make another new thing last week as well - I just didn't have the time to write about it. It was something that literally took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish. Literally.

Pork Medallion with Maple Syrup Sandwiches

1 small onion - sliced into thin strips
1 pork tenderloin
1 red pepper - julienned
1/3 cup maple syrup
Soft buns - like hoagies or a baguette
Kosher salt and pepper

In a skillet, with a drizzle of olive oil, saute the onions, add a pinch of kosher salt, on medium heat until they caramelize. Once they have caramelized add the onions and let saute for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, rinse the tenderloin and pat it dry. Remove the tough underside with a sharp knife, if your butcher hasn't already. Then slice the tenderloin into medallions, about 1/2 inch thick.

Add the maple syrup to the onions and peppers, and then add the pork. Let the pork simmer for about 7 minutes or until it is fully cooked.

Warm the bun or baguette in the oven for a couple of minutes. Add the pork, and bits of the onion and peppers to the bun, and that's it. A very simple, and delicious dinner or lunch.

Alright Sunday fans. I am off to take the pups for a wee walk. And then pick up a few things for tonight's dinner. I will be sure to post, if, it turns out.

Have a great day!

Loves.

Enjoy!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cagney and Lacey



My stagette party was last week. It was a great day/night. My sister and cousin planned such a great day for me - and it was so nice to get out and spend the day with them and some of my good friends.

The last stop for the night was the Irish Times Pub. I love Celtic music - so I was in my element. When I was backpacking in Europe, we spent a couple of days in Dublin and I loved it. I was travelling with Margo and Nancy, my two BMs. Nancy loved it so much that she lives there now. Anyways, I loved the music when we were there so much. So much of the music is what I grew up on. My dad would crank 'What would you do with a drunken sailor?' or 'Whiskey in the jar'. I bought an Irish Boran drum when I was there - not really practical when you are back packing. I packed it up and sent it home - I probably should have carried it with me and tried to play it to make a little cash. I think that I thought that I would bring it home and start a band. I would play that and my tambourine and just Irish rock it out. Now the Boran drum is art on the shelf.

Let me get back to my point. Did I have one? Yipes, I'm not sure.

The band was awesome! Tracy bought me a CD for a treat. It is good! I was sitting very close to the stage and the singer was rocking out his boran drum. Many times throughout the night I was tempted to pick it up and pound on it. I didn't. I chickened out. Not like the time that I went on stage at club while there was a Neil Diamond tribute band playing - and I stood beside the tambourine player and asked if I could play with her - she let me - for two songs. I felt like a total rock star.

I did however, dance a lot. It was so much fun.

We had met friends throughout the night - who were a lot of fun - and were very excited to make sure that they were a part of the stagette. At one point one of the guys that was sitting at the table, who I am pretty sure is Chris' brother's twin (it was a bit spooky) , his sister leaned over and asked if I knew a hairdresser - I did! My friend and hairdresser, Dulce, was with us, and the sister was wanting to know if she could cut her brother's hair. So Dulce did. The sister had told her brother's wife that he would either be on the 7AM ferry or have a hair cut. He was obviously at that point, in no condition to get the first ferry. They had a huge audience watching them - so good.

At the end of the night, my BIL (brother in law) picked us up to take us home. He was driving a wee bit fast and unfortunately it didn't go unnoticed. A routine speeding stop turned into something so ridiculous. Something so ridiculous that turned into us waiting for more than 40 minutes. Margo and I were in the backseat - so we had a good view to give a nice play by play. I named the female police officers - Cagney and Lacey. They didn't seem to have any interest that I was wearing a leg warmers, a garder on the outside of my jeans, star shaped sun glasses or a lei around my neck. They didn't comment on the grouse's claw that was around my wrist or the fake bouquet of flowers. They also didn't recognize that the 3 women in the car's bowels were going to burst. They did however, have no expression on their faces or move their mouths when they talked. I have a feeling that the Cagney and Lacey legacy will live on for quite some time.

This past week has been super busy. Normally any spare time that I have, I would normally sit down and do my blog after having time to have cooked dinner or something else. I just haven't had time this week. Every spare moment I have, has been dedicated to the wedding. Oh BTW, our wedding is 2 weeks away. 2 WEEKS!!!! I just had a hot flash or a panic attack. I'm not sure what it was.

So, I think that for the next couple of weeks, that I will be here only every once in awhile. I really want to write during this time b/c I don't want to forget a thing.

My normal 2 day weekend, turned into a 4 day. What a treat. The two extra days were good. I was able to get a lot of wedding stuff done. Today, my mom is taking my sister and I with her to try her dress on for the last time. I can't wait to see it. And then we are out to celebrate Uncle David's birthday - hoorah!

Alright friends, no new meal ideas today - but if I had the time to stay at home and make something, I would make:
or Grilled Sandwiches with lots of cheese

Alright - enjoy the weekend.

Loves.
Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

OMG.


Aaaaaaaaaand STOP!!!

Ok, the whirlwind of a weekend that I was on has stopped. Oh my, it was a good one. I actually just had to check my blog to see when the last day I did a post was. It seems that I haven't been on my wee little Mac in forever. Now... I know that some of you may be worried that I wasn't cooking during this time, don't worry, I did cook once, but I was treated to a few dinners out. I love it when that happens.

Now before I get into the nitty gritty, I need to tell you that in the oven, baking at 375 is a delicious, hearty, frozen lasagna, that I did NOT make. From the box. Chicken. And it better hit the spot. Don't judge me!

The whirlwind consisted of:
- Hearing the details of a shower that was held in my honour up in Kitimat by my gf, Jocelyn.
- Dinner out with friends at Prime - I had the most amazing salad there - it's a steak house - I know - but I am not a steak eater, and this salad sounded divine. I will definitely be making it to share with you guys - and I am very excited to try and replicate it.
- Finally getting to talk to Rashmi on the phone. Remember her?
- A day with my cuzzie that included - trying on my wedding dress, lunch at Tapas Bar, shopping and a pedicure! I was treated like royalty. My sister joined us for part of the day, and we had such a good time. Margo made the trek down from up island, so I felt very honoured.
- A stagette party. STAGETTE!!! A surprise at my house, dinner at Bon Rouge, and then off to Irish Times Pub, for some incredible celtic music and lots of dancing, laughs, and a wonderful evening with great girlfriends.
- An real live episode of Cagney and Lacey - which will take on it's own blog post. Stay tuned.
- Dinner with friends. I wasn't in really in my prime to cook up a feast - but it turned out and our guests left with full bellies.
- An extra hour of sleep.

I want to share more - but want to have the pictures to go with it. Stay tuned - I will be talking about this all week. Trust me. Oh! Just in case you have lost track, 19 days to go! Oner Niner.

I plan on sharing on the deets this week, but for now - I will share a recipe - just in case you are starving b/c you aren't sure what to cook.

On the menu last night was pretty much everything that I have cooked before. I was thinking of trying new recipes - but staying up long past midnight 2 nights in a row - I thought that I would go with some of our favourites.

Appetizer was the avocado, shrimp and tomato stacks. I was very excited b/c I finally found some of the metal ring/moulds to use.

Dinner was Roasted Beet and Carrot salad with walnuts and goat cheese; Breaded chicken that I marinaded in sour cream, lots of garlic and fresh oregano; Orzo with Butternut Squash.

Dessert was brownies from a box served with vanilla ice cream. Easy peasy.

Orzo with Butternut Squash

1 medium sized onion - chopped
1 medium sized butternut squash - peeled, chopped into small pieces - about 4 cups
3 cups of uncooked orzo
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of butter
5 cups of chicken stock
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

In a large skillet with a tbsp of olive oil, saute the onion for about 8 minutes, on medium heat. Season with kosher salt. Add the butternut squash and saute for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, butter and the orzo, and stir it all together, letting it saute for a couple of minutes.

Then add the stock, not all at once, 2 cups at first, and then continue to add the rest a cup at a time, stirring often. Continue to let it simmer for about 30 minutes. You can add more stock if you find that the orzo is soaking it up too much and is not yet el dente. Just before serving, add in the parmesan cheese and stir it all together.

And that's it. The orzo is so creamy and the texture of the butternut squash is divine.

Alright friends, I hope that your week has started out like it should.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Priceless.



Priceless.

I have been thinking of this word a lot lately. I'm not really sure why it has been on my mind but it has been. I love the Master Card commercials that show the value of things and then show the effect and they say it is 'priceless'.

I have a lot of relationships with family and friends that I feel are priceless. Let me explain - I hope a. you're not falling a sleep, or b. you are asking me what the he** I am talking about.

The other night, I was over at my mom's (priceless relationship) and I was looking at pictures. Old pictures. Full of so many memories. I wouldn't trade those memories that the pictures give me for anything - they are priceless. Pictures of my dad, my oldest nephew when he was a baby, my brother and sister and I together when we all lived at home, my mom, cousins, grandparents, pups, friends.... it was really fulfilling. Can you ever imagine life without pictures?

Looking at the pictures of my nephews and nieces - and although I love to spoil them with 'pricey' things - the love and how much I adore them is priceless. The relationships that I have with them and their hugs and love - priceless. Family is so important - and I can't wait for our family to be extended - I feel that Chris is so blessed to be joining that all love him. And I feel so blessed to be joining his.

Our wedding - 23 days - the countdown = Priceless.

I would love to hear from you - what is priceless to you?

I guess what I am trying to say and express - is that life is so valuable - and having wonderful people to share it with is priceless.

Alrighty - let's talk business. I am sorry, but I have no new recipes today. It's like I have been on strike around here. I cooked on Tuesday night, then last night because it was College night - I had an old fashioned college dinner - Subway - Chris was cooking. Tonight I went to dinner with my friend, Maegan, so no cooking again. I promise to cook again, I just don't know when. I might just stay on strike until Sunday. And the only reason why I will cross the picket line on that day is because we are having friends in for dinner. I am not really sure why I am striking, but it sounds sort of fun. Rebel. Cook this! Sniff.

What I do have for you though - is a quick recipe on how to roast pumpkin seeds. My gf told me that she was doing this the other day and said that it was really easy. I remember my mom and dad doing this all the time when we were kids. I loved them. I have never done anything with the seeds, but that is changing my friends. I secretly want to go out and buy a whack load of pumpkin seeds b/c I love these so much.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Raw seeds from the pumpkin

Cooking spray

Kosher Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 325.

With your hand or a big spoon, scoop out the insides of the pumpkin. Pick the seeds out and place them in a strainer. Rinse them and them pat them dry.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a light coat of cooking spray. Then place the seeds on the sheet in a single layer, and lightly season with kosher salt.

Bake in the 325 oven for 20-25 minutes.

Chris is also in love with these. He rated this a 10+.

Alright - I am going to curl up with a cup of something - maybe tea - and unwind and think about how truly awesome this weekend will be. It will be priceless.

Loves.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hoorah for Tuesday!


Hello Tuesday fans. Tuesday - tomorrow it's Wednesday, then Thursday and then before we know it, it's the weekend. Are you feeling me? Are you reading what I'm writing? Are you getting what I'm giving? I know you are. I know b/c it's how you roll, and it's b/c how I roll.

Whattup????

Oh man - I all of a sudden have a burst of energy. It's like I just ran 10 K (I didn't) or just had a pot of coffee (I don't drink coffee) or just started a 3 week holiday (I wish). Not sure what is - but I am going to run with this bi*ch all week. Bring it.

It was a glorious day. Beautiful sun - hard to believe that it is November. I am hoping that we have glorious weather in 25 days. 25 DAYS! Sorry to keep the countdown alive - but I need to keep everyone on their toes.

Ok - I could blabber on and on - but I have a recipe to share that I ma excited about. Hoorah.

Rosemary Garlic Chops with Faux Risottaux and Steamed Spinach

Sorry for the long name - but I couldn't miss out a thing. I bought some delicious pork chops last weekend - and I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to cook them. I was thinking of the 'ol mushroom soup bake - but wanted to try something new - and I am pleased with the results.

Rosemary Garlic Chops

5 chops - thick, bone in
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary - chopped
1 large garlic clove - chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Rinse the chops and dry - then season both sides with kosher salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter and then add the rosemary and garlic. Over medium heat, heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the chops and over medium/high heat brown both sides of the chops. While they are cooking, spoon the rosemary/garlic oil over top of the pork chops to keep them simmering in the juice. Cook on each side for about 7 minutes.

Remove the chops from the skillet (don't do anything with the skillet - stay tuned) and place them into a large enough baking dish so that they are not on top of each other. Cook them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Faux Risottaux
I called it this b/c it's not really risotto and it's not just rice. It was simple - and very tasty.

2 small onions - or 1 medium - chopped
2 peppers - chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups of brown rice
2 cups of chicken stock
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the rice accordingly to the package. If you have a rice cooker - I would recommend using that - only b/c I found another use for it for another part of this recipe.

In the skillet that you cooked the chops, keep the heat at medium and add the chopped onion. Give a small pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and saute for another couple of minutes. If you have a bit more rosemary, add that in as well - I did, and was happy that I did. Then it is time to add in the cooked rice and the chicken stock. Reduce the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes - ensuring that all of the rice soaks up all the stock. Prior to stirring, toss in the parmesan cheese - stir - and admire.

Now - if you have a rice cooker - you can cook the spinach in it. I KNOW!!! Who would have thought? I put the spinach with a 1/2 cup of water and let it cook for a couple of mins. If you don't have a rice cooker - just steam it.

Then it's time to assemble.

Faux Risotto

Rosemary Garlic Shops

Spinach

And that's it. I think that it turned out really well, and it is full of flavour.

Ok - Christoff is home - and we are going to watch the game on the PVR. Don't tell me if they win, or are winning.

I am sending out a 'holler' to Megan - working the evening shift - you're almost done!!!

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November is here. Countdown continues.


26 Days!

November 1st. My oh my, November. I have been waiting for November since February - well actually probably March. I can't believe that our wedding is coming so quickly. There is a lot still to do - but it's little stuff, fun stuff - so I shouldn't stress too much, or turn into Bridezilla.

I am not the girl that has been waiting for this day for my entire life. I have went through stages over my life time - thinking of marriage, children, a home... In all honesty, I think that I have thought about having children more than anything. But I was thinking today, of when Chris and I first got together, and I just remember the feeling then, of knowing that I was always going to be with Chris. Through good times and in bad - I knew that he would be my mate, my best friend, my partner for life, and now he will be my husband. It's all overwhelming in such a powerful and incredible way.

Sigh.

I was over at Jules' for dinner tonight. I invited myself. I like to do that from time to time. Not only do I get a delicious meal out of it, but I like for her to work on her cooking skills for cooking for more than one. She always complains that she forgets how to cook for more than herself, but she doesn't. Tonight on the menu: Roasted chicken with sweet potatoes; stuffing with cranberries; Cauliflower Cakes with basil - better than mine - Mom please tell us what kind of basil you use again, thanks; steamed asparagus.

To my mom (b/c I know that she is reading this - but maybe not until Tuesday morning b/c I am sure that she has already had her bath): Mom it was delicious and Chris loved it too. I would like to come for dinner every week until I am married. Because once I am married, life will be very different. I will be a bride, and will have to be home every night making dinner for my husband. Wait. Wait! I already do that. Mom, I have changed my mind - I would like to come for dinner every week.

Last night's Chili was accompanied with fresh baked Cornbread. Delicious cornbread; however, this cornbread was not as flavourful as I had hoped. It was still tasty, and went so good with the Chili, but it was missing something. My mission now will be to master the recipe. The recipe that I found and adapted called for sugar, which I didn't want to add. It also called for bacon, which I didn't have. So it was missing something - not quite sure if it was the sweetness or a little bit of heat. I would definitely try this recipe though - and add red pepper flakes, a couple of pinches of sugar, and maybe a bunch of fresh herbs.

Cornbread

2 cups of cornmeal - yellow or white
1 cup flower
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
4 eggs
2 cups of milk
2 tbsp of fresh chives - chopped
Fresh oregano - chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the milk. Slowly, whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and continue to whisk until everything is mixed together. Add in the fresh herbs and mix again.

I prefer to use my cast iron skillet - if you have one - I would recommend using it. If not then just using a baking dish.

Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil into the skillet - and with a paper towel, coat the skillet with the olive oil. Pour in the batter, and bake.

Sit, have a glass of wine, or a cold beer, or a milk shake or a glass of water, or have a shower, or watch a 25 minute show...

Bake for 25 minutes, or until fully baked.

And that's it.

Well friends, that's it for this November 1st. There will never be another November 1st that I am engaged. And thanks to my momma, it was a good one.

Loves.

Enjoy!