Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday sweets



Lovin' Saturdays. I am especially lovin' this Saturday because it is so beautiful out. It's been a slow day - which is perfect b/c Chris and I have just started a week of holidays - so it's just perfect. I have done a dog walk, some errands, hung out with Chris at a music store and have done some baking.

For our wedding, I gave Chris an electric guitar. Chris LOVES music. He loves mostly heavy rock, but has a love for so many different types of music. We weren't going to do presents but I really wanted to give him something that he would love and have forever - although he was getting me, I wanted something to go with me. :) At first I was going to get him an Acoustic guitar, but I casually asked him one day about guitars and he let me know that he would love an Electric. So... that's what I gave him.

He loves his guitar. He plays as much as he can and has bought a ton of books to try and learn. For Christmas, my mom gave me an electric guitar too. I am not as in love with it as Chris is. Hence, I don't practice nearly enough, but it is fun, and we have a goal to have a song down pat by next Christmas.

I made my mom's Banana Bread recipe today. I didn't add raisins, because I didn't have any, and used pecans instead of walnuts. I doubled the recipe, and made 1 large pan and 4 small pans. In two of the small pans, I added chocolate chips to the batter. I haven't tried them yet, they are still cooling, but I am hoping that they turn out as good as my mom's.

I also tried another recipe that I have been wanting to try for a long time. The recipe is for Lemon Curd. I saw the recipe on Sprouted Kitchen. The recipe called for Meyer lemons. When I saw the recipe I had not heard of Meyer lemons. I have heard that they are different from regular yellow lemons - as they are supposed to much more sweeter than regular lemons. I found them at the Root Cellar - so have been so excited to try this recipe.

These lemons are almost orange in colour. They are petite and they have a relatively thin peel. They are extremely fragrant, but I didn't feel that they were sweeter than regular lemons. They weren't as sour as them, but I almost think that they had a similar taste to a grapefruit, but still lemony. Oh I don't really know - they are just different.

Lemon Curd

1/2 cup juice of Meyer Lemons - I used 4
1/3 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp of butter

Before you start whisking (you will have muscles when you are done) place a mesh strainer over a bowl.

In a medium sized saucepan add all of the ingredients except the butter. Whisk everything together so that it is nice and smooth.

Place the saucepan on low heat and add the butter. Whisk to help the butter melt and incorporate into the liquid. When it is all melted, turn the heat to medium and whisk, whisk and keep whisking. Don't stop. The yellowy goodness will start to thicken, and when it reaches a thick pudding texture you can remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer. Once it is all through the strainer, place it in the fridge and let it cool.

This batch turned out quite bright yellow. The eggs I used were organic and very bright yellow.

And that's it. You can serve it on anything I think. I think that it may even be nice on our banana bread. I also think that it may be a nice treat to have with a little plain yogurt.

I am really excited b/c I am going to try making this in the summer with limes. I LOVE LIMES.

Alright friends I hope that you have had a wonderful Saturday. If not - get to it! :)

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Nemesis



Did you ever watch 'Seinfeld? Remember when Jerry and Newman would do something to upset the other and then Jerry would curl up his top lip and say 'Newman'. Well that is kind of what I am doing with the box of Girl Guide Cookies that were brought home. Every time I look at the box sitting on the counter I raise and shake my fist and say 'Girl Guides'.

They are my Nemesis.

*Please note that I didn't bring them home.
*Please note that I did eat some.
*Please note that there are not any chocolate cookies in the picture because there were none left.
*Please note that I did not eat all of the chocolate ones.


Meet Gunny. We brought Gunny home 2.5 years ago. We love him. The reason why we called him Gunny, was b/c when we would drive him he had a lot of power and would go fast in a split second (a term my mom uses all the time). It was a lot faster than our old wee Honda.

Well today, when I was trying to find parking at my trainer's, this happened.

Gasp!

I am so mad. First - the parking lot there is really ugly - one way in and one way our with kind of a turn around at the one end but if there are cars parked there, you can't turn around so you have to back out. So... backing up I hit a wall. Ugh! It was so tight between a car that was parked there and I was worried about the car - and I didn't see the wall!!!!! Chris isn't home yet - so we will see what he has to say.

I have dinner cooking on the stove. I don't really have recipe, mostly b/c I don't know what to call it. It is a Fast Food dinner. I will tell you what is in it and how I am cooking it.

No name dinner

1 pack of ground chicken
1 onion - chopped
2 peppers (yellow and orange) - chopped
3 stalks of celery - chopped
1 bag of spinach
1 can of white beans - rinsed and drained
3 cups of cooked brown rice (it was a leftover for us)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
Garlic
Oregano
Chili flakes

Saute the onion in olive oil and kosher salt. Add the ground chicken and saute until browned. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach, rice, beans and tomatoes and the spices.

Cover and let simmer to heat everything through.

And that's it. I am going to guess that Chris is going to rate it a 4. I will let you know.

Alright - I am off to have some dins.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yes... I watch American Idol

I have just snuggled in for a long spring's night, curled up with my laptop and American Idol on the tube. I watched a bit of the first season of AI (that's what I like to call it - it sounds kinda cool I think) and then I watched the season when Clay Aiken was on. My mom was in love with Clay Aiken. I think that she still is. Anyways, this season I peaked in on it a couple of times when they were picking the finalists - and now I am hooked on it. To be honest, I am not really sure why I am sharing this with you - I guess I just felt it important that I tell you what I am doing.

I just had a slice of my mom's banana bread. Since I am being honest tonight - I need to tell you that I could eat the whole damn loaf. But, I am withholding. I am being ladylike. It is so moist. This may sound weird, but the moistness reminds me of roasted marshmallows. Yum!!

Last night's dinner was made by my mom. When I go there for dinner, she ALWAYS sends Chris home with dinner and usually enough for lunch the next day. He is spoiled. And he appreciates it very much. I am excited to share the recipe and I know that Jules is too. You can see her in Guest Chef Series HERE.

Jules loves cookbooks - that is probably where I get my addiction to cookbooks and cooking magazines.

Jules Chicken and Dumpling Soup

For the following ingredients, in order, layer in your slow cooker
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped potatoes (small pieces)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup whole mushrooms sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs - cut into 1 inch pieces - you could use chicken breasts if you prefer

Combine:
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper

Pour this over the chicken and vegetables. Add 1 bay leaf. Cook in the slow cooker, covered, on low heat for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.

Rosemary Dumplings
1 cup flour
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp rosemary
Mix the dry ingredients together.
1 egg - beaten
3 tbsp buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tbsp oil
Mix into the dry ingredients

The dumplings take 30 minutes - so you can them prior to the soup being done. Drop by teaspoonful on the soup in single layers. Cook covered on high.

*Sour milk - 3 tbsp of milk and 1/2 tsp of vinegar

And that's the hearty, delicious, wanna-eat-again-real-soon Chicken and Dumplings Soup. Yumma.

Chris rated this a 15!

Alright - I have to focus on AI. Have a good night! The weekend is almost here, so don't forget to smile.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What would it be?

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pez. Cherry flavoured pez. No doubt about it.

Recognize that?

I'll give you a hint: It's one of my favourite movies. I went to see it twice in a row when it came to the wee movie theatre in Kitimat.

Stand By Me.

Oh I love that movie. I love that movie almost as much as when my dad and I would say it to one another. Not really sure why in entertained us so much, but it would. I know that when I see him again, I will ask him that question, and he will know exactly what to say. Loves.
This face - I would give him anything that he wanted. Loves!!!

I was with my nephew the other day. We were out for a walk, chatting, hanging out, I was loving the time with him, and he was too - I know it. :) Anyways, I asked him this. His first response, almost before I could ask the question was 'chicken wings'. That kid can eat chicken wings like no other. If he were a lady, it would not be ladylike. He can shovel those in, to the point we have to remind him to share with others. He pretends that the chicken wings have got in his ears and he just keeps eating. Bless his heart. Then he changed his mind - he changed it to 'oranges'. Then he asked if there was going to be drinks, I said 'yes', so he changed his mind again. His final answer was 'eggs'. He picked eggs b/c they were delicious and full of protein.

My answer... was quite a bit different. I also answered before the question was asked with 'chocolate'. What??? I know that it isn't fruit or vegetables, or protein, or healthy, but I can't help it. I love it.

I asked my mom and she answered with 'vegetables'. I told her that she had to change her answer - mostly b/c I didn't like it. What?? She's my mom. So she thought about it again and said 'bread pudding'.

So - what would you pick? If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would be?

Good times.

I went to Jules' tonight for dinner. Hello - do I love a mid-week break from cooking. Before dinner, after work, I had my workout. So far, my body is not broken, but I am not promising tomorrow that I will be able to walk. It was a 45 minute workout - and it kicked my butt. I sweated, I swore, I whimpered, I swore more, and then it was over and then I smiled.

Jules made a lovely chicken soup with dumplings. It was aromatic, it was flavourful, it was hearty, it was warm, and it was so incredibly delicious. Recipe will be posted shortly b/c I have another one of her recipes to post.

When I was not well, I had to go into Emergency b/c I was so dehydrated and couldn't keep anything in my stomach. That night when I got home, I was all of a sudden starving and what was on the table when I got in? A mini loaf of my mom's banana bread. I had 3 slices and it was pure heaven. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Although it didn't cure me - it was so delicious and an incredible change from what I had been eating. When I arrived tonight there were a bunch of loaves and one was for us. I am pretty sure it is the same weight as a 10 lb brick but I won't complain. Oh! Not because it is dry and heavy - but b/c it is so big.


Jules' Banana Bread

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup mazola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup raisins (soak in boiling water and then drain)

*If you like walnuts, add those too. It will be worth it!

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together. Then mix the wet into the dry.

If you are using a large loaf pan, bake for 55-60 minutes. If you are using small loaf pans you can bake for 45 minutes.

And that's it. This is such a nice treat and it is so comforting. Banana bread always reminds me of my mom, and there is no other like hers.
I had to get a pic of the knife is probably older than I am (21 - ha)

I have a bunch of bananas that are ripening and I will be using this recipe and I WON'T be adding chocolate chips.

Alright friends. I hope you had a great day.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Remember me?


Hello everyone. My name is Cheryl and I have a small food blog that at one time I used to write on a very regular basis. Then I just got out of routine - life happened - and I became unmotivated, uninspired and just not feeling like cooking.

Then a month ago I caught something - some sort of virus and it wiped me out. I missed over a week of work and didn't cook at all for about 2 weeks, and when I did eat, it was pretty much my mom's delicious homemade apple sauce. She spoiled me while I was sick - not sure what I would have done without my mom. I am on the mend - feeling about 85%.

So here I am again - saying that I am lug when it comes to this wee blog and that I will try and be more diligent. I am going to try. TRY. I have had quite a few people ask me when I am going to write again that they missed me. When I check out blogs and they haven't been updated - it is a little bit of a downer - and now I am doing that! What is wrong with me??? So that makes me feel that I should be trying to do this on a regular basis - get back to the time when I felt so rewarded every time that I did a blog - and how it was in some ways therapeutic. So, let's see how I do.

I really haven't been doing a lot of different dishes. I have been making a lot of our favourites, a lot of tried and tested, and ones that I know that Christoff enjoys. I have a few new faves - that I will be sure to tell you about. I just have to make them again so that I can post a pic of them. Jules has also been feeding Chris and I too - I have been there a lot - and need to get some of her recipes too.

So, just in case you were wondering - this is what we have been filling our faces with.

Toast
Roast
Pasta

Tonight is Chicken Adobo - one of Chris' faves. He likes to sing it when he says it. I don't really know why - but if it makes him happy then I am happy because that is what a good wife does. Sometimes I write things like that and I know that my friends and family would know that I am being sarcastic - but people that don't know me, may think that I am odd.

Alright, I feel good. I feel really good. I feel that in about 4 more minutes I am going to have completed a blog for the first time in a month. I am pumped. I am going to pump up the jam.

Friends - I love you. Thanks for stopping by and reading this - although it was probably very boring - but I promise some juicy stuff to come.

I hope that you are all well - and that life is treating you well.

Loves.

Enjoy!