Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who bakes with vegetables?


Picture this: It's 1988, it's late August, and our neighbour Mr. Bell just gave my mom one of his zucchini's from their veggie garden. It's a big one - probably 19 pounds. Ok, not that big - but it's the size that when you look at it you wonder what in the world you will ever do with so much zucchini.

I see the zucchini sitting on the counter and pray that we won't be subjected to having any of it. (I know!!!! I used to really dislike zucchini.) Later that same evening, after a day of sleeping in, hanging with friends, watching Days of our Lives, and napping, I sit down to dinner with my mom and dad. We have just had bbq'd burgers that my dad has cooked 'cajun style' b/c he likes to make sure that they're really cooked. We're also having ripple potato chips and potato salad. I am ladylike so I only have one burger. My mom is on a 'diet' so she doesn't have the bun. And my dad has 2. I give our black lab, Shadow, the last bite of my burger. She always got the last bite. Loved her so.

As we are finishing, my mom let's my dad and I know that we are having chocolate cake for dessert. At first, I am so excited. I love chocolate cake - who doesn't? And then it hits me - there has been a time before that my mom has made chocolate zucchini cake, and I was not a fan. I immediately look over to the counter and notice the monster zucchini isn't there. My mom brings over the cake and slices 3 pieces, one for each of us. I ask her if it has zucchini in it and she says 'no, of course not'.

My first bite, I can see little green and white flecks. And I can taste a bitterness that is not supposed to be in chocolate cake. I knew it!!! I tell my mom that I can't eat chocolate cake with zucchini in it and push the plate away. My dad gives my mom a hard time, but finishes the cake and has another piece. The cake is eaten over the next couple of days, but not by me.

What a horrible child.

Now, when I look back on that story, there are a few things that stick out. 1. I really didn't like the bitterness of the zucchini in the cake. 2. I am not sure why it freaked me out that a vegetable was in a dessert. 3. My mom is an incredible baker - always has been. 4. I didn't know then that I would now LOVE zucchini. 5. My dad was so funny - I miss him so.

Whenever I do stuff like this, I feel like a farmer. And I didn't even grow this.

Now we are in 2011 and I not only love zucchini, but I baked with it! I know!!! Our friends Christopher and Claire brought us a jumbo zucchini and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. They grow so many vegetables in their garden - and are always blessing us with homemade treats. I also got another zucchini from a friend at work - so it's crazy zucchini time. Today I made the husband shred the rest of what we had - and I froze them in ziploc bags with 2 cups in each. They will come in handy when I want to do some more baking or add to spaghetti sauce.

I found a couple of different recipes online for zucchini bread - so I tried to combine a few - and it turned out quite well. I reduced the sugar by over half - and I am really glad that I did b/c it was definitely sweet enough.

Zucchini Bread

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
3 cups of flour
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of raisins
Zest of one lemon

In a large bowl mix together the eggs. sugar, and vanilla. Add in the shredded zucchini and the vegetable oil and mix together. Sprinkle with the baking soda and salt. Add in the flour and mix it. Add in the walnuts, raisins and the lemon zest.

Place in a large loaf pan or two smaller loaf pans.

Bake for 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Remove it from the pan - and enjoy!!

I just know that I am reformed - and I love zucchini in baking. Well at least in bread. I may give the chocolate cake a try and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blueberry memories.

One love, one life...

Did you think that I was going to talk about my wedding song? Although I could probably talk about that at great lengths, tonight I am not talking about my wedding. Although... it was so much fun and I will remember dancing for the first time with my new husband.

Tonight - I am singing about my love for blueberries. I know that I have talked about this love before. How can I stop?

I had a great visit with my cuzzie, Margo on Saturday in Coombs. If you haven't been there - you should go - it's so much fun - and there is the best market there. We did our annual fur trade. She brings me blueberries and I pay her in fur. Well not really, she prefers cash. Well, not really - she would try and run without taking the money - it's an odd family trait that we all share. Although last year, I paid her in HBC popcorn and a faux fur that she wore in my wedding. Uh - ok, I will stop talking about my wedding now.
She brought me two boxes of delicious organic blueberries. We had lunch, we visited, we shopped a bit and then we talked about how we will need to make this an annual event. I am so blessed to have an awesome cousin and best friend.

When I was a kid, we used to visit my dad's parents every summer in Vancouver. My grandma was an amazing cook and entertainer. There are a few recipes that I remember her making every summer, and to this day, they are still my favouritea. One of my favourites that I remember her making every summer was her blueberry pie. I remember that delicious pie and how incredible it always looked. It was a genuine piece of art.

I often wonder if this is the reason for why I love blueberries so much. I secretly hope so.


Yesterday I made this, using my aunt's pie crust. There was one point when I felt like my grandma. Our kitchen was really warm and my grandma's kitchen was always hot in the afternoon and early evening. I remember her always cooking and baking with such grace, despite the heat, and she always made the most wonderful creations. I am sure that I have no where near her grace, but it made feel special for a moment, that I have followed in her footsteps baking a blueberry pie on a hot summer day.


Blueberry Pie

1 baked pie crust (cooled) - you can find that HERE - I forgot to add a 1-2 tbsp of sugar, and I am happy that I did - it didn't need it at all

4 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of water
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1/4 tsp
2 tbsp of water
Whipped cream for topping

In a saucepan, cook 3/4 of a cup of blueberries and 1/4 cup of water until tender. Force through a sieve to mash thoroughly. Place the juice in the saucepan, add the sugar and 1/4 tsp of cornstarch. Mix together. In a separate dish, mix the 2 tbsp of cornstarch with the 2 tbsp of water to blend. Add to the blueberry juice and cook over medium heat - stirring until smooth and creamy.

Place the remaining blueberries in a bowl and pour the blueberry sauce (it will be very hot) over top of the blueberries. Mix and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Place the blueberries in the pie shell, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

My mom and Chris were my testers. At first my mom said 'it's not the best pie that I have had' and Chris said that 'it was ok'. And then they kept eating it - and my mom then said that I had changed her from not loving blueberries and Chris said that it was delicious and wanted another piece.

I dare you to try this. Do it. You won't be disappointed.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tarts.


I had the gals in for dinner the other night. We had a great visit. I told them to bring their sweaters so that we could sit on the deck - b/c we just haven't had enough summer nights out on the deck this summer. Summer, or whatever you want to call it this year.

We had a nice night. I feel spoiled to be surrounded by such wonderful friends.

I whipped up a simple dessert - and am excited to share.


Baked fruit tarts with Lemon Mascarpone

1 square of puff pastry
Fresh fruit - 1 cup of blueberries, 1 peach, 1 nectarine, 1 cup of mango, 7-8 small plums
1 tbsp of cane sugar
1 cup of mascarpone
Zest of one lemon

The puff pastry that I buy, comes in a box with two squares. For this recipe, you can make 6 tarts, using one of the squares. Thaw as per the instructions on the box - either out at room temperature for an hour - or in the fridge overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle until it is about 1/2 cm thick. With a knife, cut 6 squares. Using muffin tins, place the puff pastry piece into the muffin tin - so that it the bottom of the tin is covered and it is higher on each of the four corners.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.

For the fruit filling - all you need to do is cut it all up - and place in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. You can bake the fruit along side the puff pastry tarts.

For the topping - whip the mascarpone cheese with the cane sugar (or any sugar - or sweetener - maple syrup could work too) and the lemon zest.

Let the fruit cool slightly and then place a couple of heaping spoonfuls in each tart, and top with the mascarpone topping.

I love the sweetness and tartness of the fruit, and the creaminess of the mascarpone. So simple, and so deelish.

Chris rated this a 5. :) Love that fella.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hugs.

Today, like many days, I remember how precious life is and how it is so important to love the ones you love - and tell them often.

Today I would HUG:

My nephew - b/c he swears on Facebook b/c he thinks he can and b/c he came and hung out with me tonight. Heart.
Lindsay - for helping me get my contacts back on my BB. They were lost.
Beth - she encouraged me to go to the gym by giving 'tough love' and I am so happy that she did. 4. 7 k in 30 mins.
My sister - for helping her boys with all of their sporting events.
My mom - for coming home tomorrow.
Steph - for being a caring friend and letting me give her a hard time - and she will still hug me after all the bugging.
Jess - b/c she could use a hug. And she would pass the hug on.
My brother - for believing that I can do something that I am not sure that I can.
David - for being such a good friend to my husband.
Stacy - for pocket dialing me with David's phone.
Maegan - for calling me over and over.
Magnum - for being the cutest little pup ever.
Jozie - for having the cutest shitzu snarl ever.
Tracy - for being a part of the black belt test on Friday.
Pilar - for making me laugh.
Rosalyn - for being such a good friend.
Shannon - to let her know that I will be there for her if she needs me.
Auntie Barb - for being an incredible woman.
Beside yard Barb - for dog walks.
Ingrid - for having the cutest little pup, Winston, who Joz and Magnum love.
Ogre - for not bringing home any 'wildlife' lately.
My husband - just because. I am going to ambush him when he is home and it will be the best hug that I gave and received all day.


After all the hugging that you are giving and getting, treat yourself with a Root beer Float. That's right, Root beer float. I made this for Chris a couple of weeks ago. Just vanilla ice cream, and topped with root beer. I didn't have any - but I did drink the leftover root beer. I love that sh*t.

Hugs to all of you.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eat your veggies!


Prepare for Veggie Day. That's right, Veggie Day. Well, I actually don't think that there is such a thing - but there should be. My friend Beth has started to have Meatless Mondays - deciding to have no meat once a week. So, I thought that I would do the same thing - I just don't think that it will be Mondays - I am not sure what day it will be - maybe it will be more than one day - maybe I will switch it up from week to week. The possibilities are endless.

Today on this hot sunny summer day, I made some veggie style burgers for lunch. In one of my magazines they had a recipe for quinoa burgers - so I got the inspiration from that, and just did them Sims Style.

Hummus Quinoa Burgers Sims Style

1 cup of cooked quinoa - after cooked add juice of lemon and a tsp of kosher salt and let cool
1 cup of Hummus
1 egg
1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

Add cooked quinoa and hummus together and mix. Add in the bread crumbs and the egg. Mix together and form in to medium size patties.

In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook 7-8 minutes each side or until lightly browned.

I served these with pea shoots that had been drizzled with creme de balsamic and served the patty on top of a slice of tomato.

The thing that I really like about these, is that the seasoning is already done with the quinoa and the hummus. They are light, flavourful and very easy to make.

Chris rated these a 5!!!

This would be a great dish to start a veggie day.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Running for my life... again



2 and a half years ago, I strapped on the runners, and became a member of the Sole Sisters running clinic with my friend Maegan. We would run each week as a group and I would 'try' to run on my own during the week. I documented my struggles on my blog - bottom of the page - the 'Running for my life' series. Each week was just as hard as the week before. Each week was as emotional as the week before. And although there were weeks that did seem to be a little easier, oh did I struggle. I struggled with my body, with my conditioning, with my breathing and with my confidence. The next year was just as hard, but I managed to run a little more, and felt slightly more confident. Slightly.

Chris helped name my 'Running for my life' series. He knew that I was struggling with trying to get healthy, trying to get fit - and by doing both of those - it was going to save my life.

Now 2.5 years later, I am running for my life again. This time it's different. I think that I mentioned this before, but this time, I really don't know what the difference is. I think - sorry I KNOW - that a lot of it has to do with my workouts with Tanya. We have done stuff that I never thought that I could do, and each week we workout harder and harder. I have been fortunate to lose a few pounds, which makes me lighter on my feet. I have also made fitness a part of my life. I have had to. It has been a lot easier than I thought that it ever would be.

Yesterday after work I planned to do a 30 minute run on the treadmill. My friend Beth was coming for dinner - and for a split second, I thought that I would miss the gym and go home and tidy up and have dinner ready. And then I slapped myself upside the head and came back to reality. That is something that I definitely would have done before. The cool thing was, is that I was able to go to the gym and workout and still have time to come home and hang out with Beth and have a great dinner together.

Anyways - yesterday I ran just under 5 K in 30 minutes. I was pretty excited. Sorry. I was FRICKIN' excited. It was a great feeling to set the goal and just do it. There were times during the run that I thought I should stop and walk - but I pushed through it. Now I know that I can do it - I plan to do it regularly, and often. I plan to keep adding distance and speed and continue running for my life.

Alright - that was deep.

The other day when I had my tea catastrophe, I made some delicious biscuits. They turned out quite nicely, much more impressive than my first tea try. I found the recipe in a Food Network magazine. The recipe used thyme - I didn't have that on hand - so I used basil. I am definitely going to make these again.


Basil Lemon Biscuits

2 cups of flour - I used all purpose - whole wheat would be just as good
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
8-10 basil leaves - chopped
4 tablespoons of cold butter
1 cup of buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 425.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together with a whisk in a medium bowl. With a pastry cutter or your fingers, add in the butter until it is pea size pieces. Slowly add in the buttermilk and gently stir.

Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead 3-5 times. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch and with a 2 inch round cookie cutter*, cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking sheet.

*I used the glass that Chris said 'fell' on to the shelf in the kitchen.

Continue to use the dough - rolling it out - until it is all done. Brush the tops with water and put a light seasoning of kosher salt on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven - and serve warm. They were a huge success and for a split second they helped husband and forget about what happened in our kitchen earlier. But a lovely ending to a rough day - homemade biscuits and tea.

Chris rated these a 5!

Find your weekend everyone - enjoy every minute.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rough yesterday.



Somedays can be called a write off; a disaster; a misfortune; a whole big bummer. Rough yesterday. That was what I experienced yesterday. It was just a day that started out well and just kind of fell*. Am so thankful that I have the very best husband in the world.

*Fell: This is something that husband likes to say when he doesn't really know the answer. For example, we have some open cupboards in the kitchen, and I like them to be tidy and organized. He puts glasses and dishes anywhere when he doesn't know where they go. Yesterday there was a random glass up on the shelf with some of the big bowls. I said to him, 'why is that there?' and he said 'it fell'. Whooo - good times at the C household.

So speaking of a rough yesterday, I decided to try a batch of iced tea. I am kind of addicted to Crystal Light iced tea. I love it. I love iced tea. LOVE IT. I think that it could be worse, I could be drinking straight vodka, kool aid, canned milk (not that there is anything wrong with these). Anyways, we thought that it may be a good idea to try making our own tea. I had some peach mango tea, that I thought would be very tasty cold.

Before you continue reading, please don't judge me. Promise? If you promise - please continue reading.

In a medium sized saucepan I boiled 8 cups of water. I added the tea bags to a beautiful glass pitcher that my friend Jocelyn gave me for my birthday many years ago. I then started to poor the boiled water in the glass pitcher. DON'T JUDGE ME. Crack!!! Water and glass everywhere. This was the first time that husband had to come in to save the day. Water was everywhere. We cleaned that up an I decided to start over.


The oven mitts were soaked in the mess, so I thought that I would put them on top of the element so that the heat from the oven would dry them off. FLAMES!! DON'T JUDGE ME. I turned the wrong element on - and the mitts were in flames. 2nd time husband had to come in and save the day.

In the end, the water boiled. I let the 4 tea bags seep in the water as it cooled off. I don't like tea too strong, so I took them out about 30 minutes later. I then whisked in a tbsp of cane sugar just to take a little of the bitternes off. I let it cool completely and put it into a glass bottle and let it cool completely in the fridge.

It was delicious. Served with lots of ice and a wedge of lemon - so good.

So, that is my story. There are times when things in the kitchen don't go so smoothly. I am grateful for the help of my husband - and how he will come running when I hit the 'panic button'. I know that this is nothing in comparison to so many sad, bad things that happen to people who only deserve the best, but this with 'life' just seemed to happen without warning. Sigh.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweet, sweet Saturday.



Sweet Saturday. Up and at 'em early. Well not really early and not really up and at 'em. We have had breakfast - and walked the pups - cleaned the kitchen - and now I am sitting on my Royal Canadian while Chris is off at Kunga.

I wanted to tell you about what we had for breakfast today. I am pretty sure it may be my new favourite breakfast - and the possibilities of how this can be served up are endless. My Auntie Barb told me about this - so I had to give it a try.


Skillet Pancake with fresh fruit

Pancake:
2 tbsp of butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 425. In a bowl, mix the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla until smooth. On the stove top, heat the skillet and add the butter until it is melted. Ensure that the butter coats the skillet.

Add the pancake mixture to the skillet and bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes. The sides will rise up. I loved the rustic look of this - I was very excited when I pulled it out of the oven.


Fresh fruit:
1 nectarine - cored and chopped
1 nectarine - cored and chopped
1.5 cups of blueberries
1 tbsp of cane sugar

In a pan, add all the fruit and cane sugar. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes - stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

It's all ready and you can serve it up - cut the pancake like a pie - and serve with the warm fruit.

C rated this a 5!!
Jozie was hoping for a taste. We gave her one - how could we refuse this face.

I am excited to make this again. I think that I will try baking the batter in my popover tins and serving with fruit. I think that you could add fresh herbs to make it savory and serve with smoked salmon and capers.

Alright friends - I hope that you're all enjoying your summer Saturday.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Go Green.



I am not sure why I love Thursdays so much, but I do. I think that it's Chris' Friday and it means that he is home for the night. We were able to take the pups for a walk and then sit out on the deck for dinner. It seems like we have stopped Thursday night dinner club for now. Oh, actually maybe just for two weeks. Well anyways, a work out with Tanya, always kicks my Thursday night into gear.

Today's session she thought it would be fun to do Tabatas (sp?). If someone tells you that Tabatas are fun - run - they are fibbing. It's where you do an exercise strong for a minute or 45 seconds, then have a 20 second rest, and start the exercise again. We did these side lunge hops first - for I think a minute or 45 seconds and 20 second rest - 8 times. The legs were a burnin'. And then we did a circuit with 5 different things - all pretty much on the mat - but it was hard. I was breathing very heavily and sweating up a storm. I am VERY UNATTRACTIVE when I work out. I can't help it. Sometimes after the gym I go to the grocery store across the street - and I think that b/c my face is super read and I am still pretty much panting, that they think that I am having a heart attack. Whatevs. That's what the cool kids say instead of 'whatever'. I think.

I had a conversation with my dear friend, Beth, today at work. We were talking about the 'slow cooker' and she said that she would marry her slow cooker if she was able to marry a small kitchen appliance. For a minute I had to stop and think if I had asked myself this before. I do say that I like to marry a lot of things - chocolate, cauliflower, Mark Wahlberg, chocolate... but never a small kitchen appliance. Right now I would have to say that it would be my blender. That thing blends - oh does it blend. I do want to get a small food processor, so I may reconsider if I do get one and try it out. What about you? Do you have a fave that you can't live without?

Speaking of blender, I made rice the other night that needed my blender. Oh friends, this rice dish is a treat. I may never go back to plain rice again. I found this recipe in cooking magazine that I had never seen before. It is called Everyday Food - and it's a Martha Stewart magazine. I used to love Martha Stewart's magazine, but I often felt a little under qualified to read the magazine let alone cook something from it. The pages would often say that you 'had to use the very best olive oil', or 'only butter right from the cows udders will work'. Ok, I'm exaggerating. I actually don't dislike Martha - I think that her magazines and recipes are good. Anyways - who brought Martha into this convo. See how I called her Martha? Whattup Martha?? Ok, anyways, this magazine is incredible. I love cooking magazines = not actually cooking the magazine, 'cooking' magazines. LOVE THEM. I would probably marry them if I could. This magazine was so good. It didn't have a lot of ads, it had recipes for produce that was in season right now, and a ton of different types of recipes - easy, a little more advanced - really just about everything.


Green Rice

1 cup of fresh cilantro - pack it in that cup - the flavour is amazing
1/2 of fresh parsley
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 of a white onion
1 3/4 cups of water
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup of rice - I didn't use brown - I used basmati

In a blender puree all of the ingredients (except the rice) together. It should take 15 seconds. In saucepan, add a drizzle of oil over medium heat and add the rice absorb the oil. Add the herb and water mixture to the rice and increase the heat to high. Bring the rice to a boil, then cover and let simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.

That's it! It's so easy - basically your making rice with fresh herbs. I am definitely going to try this again, and think that I will try it with basil, Beth suggested dill, and even mint.

Alright friends - let me know if you like the new colours of the blog. I am trying to figure out how to make my pictures a bit larger - and I am stuck. Part of being able to make the pics larger was needing a new template.

Ok - off to hang with husband - and get ready for a run nice and early tomorrow morning. We only live once - so we got to do and try things as much as we can.

Loves.

Enjoy!!



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chips.



Well I am back home. Back into the swing of things. Back to life, my life. I don't really like the term 'back to reality'. I just question 'what is reality'? Because at one point in your life, life could be fantastic, 'normal', moving along so smoothly and then next thing, SLAM!!!, life will change. Just like that. I guess that is kind of 'reality'. Maybe for me, I just don't like the possibilities of what reality means. Sigh. It just really means that things can change so quickly, without notice, without warning, for both the good and the bad.


I had a great time away. It is always so relaxing over there. And although I kept myself super busy, I do feel relaxed and rejuvenated. I went on a 5 Km run on Sunday morning on my own. And, I almost ran the entire way. I had to walk half way up a hill, and then again on a straight stretch when my thighs were telling me to take a break - both walks were probably just over a minute combined. I started the run off with a quick walk, probably .5K and then ran the rest. I was super excited when I got home - and felt that I had a surplus of energy for the entire day. That same afternoon I went kayaking. Loved it! When I first got on the water it was a little rough, and I thought that I was going to bail for sure. I thought about throwing up or trying to just fall out by accident - but I stuck at it, and once the friend who had the kayaks joined me out on the water and gave me a few tips - I loved it. It's a great workout for your upper body and so incredible being out on the waves in the sun.

I did quite a bit of cooking while I was there. The chicken dish - Pesto Yogurt Chicken (which I am making tonight so hopefully I can get a snap of it), cupcakes for my nephew's birthday party, pita chips, burgers, pita pizzas. I am in my element when I am in the kitchen, and love to cook for the family - whether it be 6 or 16 - I love to get in my groove.


Official pita chip tester.

Pita Chips

I made these at our Christmas party this last year. I think that I served them with hummus. They were a hit. I love the flavour of them and although they are super easy to make, they are a bit time consuming as you can only do one sheet at a time. Each piece of pita, will make 16 chips. So depending on how many chips you are wanting - you can decide how many pitas to use. I used 5 pieces of pita - and for 13 for dinner - 3 of those being kids - it was definitely enough.

4 pitas
2/3 cup of butter
4 cloves of garlic - minced
Kosher salt

Using kitchen scissors, cut each pita in half. Then each piece into half again, and then half again. When they are in small pie pieces, open the pita up and you can lightly tear them apart so that they are a single layer.

In a sauce pan, melt the butter and add the garlic as it heats. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a single layer of chips on the sheet. With a pastry or bbq brush, lightly brush the pieces of pita with the garlic butter.

Place in the oven set to broil, and broil for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on them as depending on your oven, they can crisp up quite closely.

Remove them from the oven and sprinkle with kosher salt. Remove them from the baking sheet, and start all over. I like to have two sheets going at the same time so when one comes out, you can put the other in.

Once they are all done you can store them in a ziploc bag or a container.

The are delicious with Tzatziki. An easy dish for an appetizer for any dinner.

Alrighty - time to go and sit out and get a little sun for the afternoon. I am trying a new rice dish for dinner tonight, so I will tell you how it turns out.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bubblegum

Well it has been a great day today. Point Roberts is a gem. Not so much a hidden gem - although not everyone knows where it is, it's a pretty popular place.

My nephew and I did a quick trip to the ice cream store today. It isn't really an 'ice cream' store - but they have hard ice cream to have as a treat - with lots of flavours. The wee'in picked bubblegum flavour and it reminded me of me when I used to pick bubblegum ice cream.

When we were kids we used to spend a good chunk of the summer in Vancouver with my dad's parents. Us kids, mostly my sister and I would stay there on our own with them - my brother was usually at hockey camp. Almost every night, my grandma would give my sister and I money so that we could walk to Swenson's at Oakridge Mall. It was about a 20 minute walk, and we would head off so excited to get there so that we could treat ourselves to the best treat. We would get there and my sister would beg me to try a new flavour, but I would also pick bubblegum. The ice cream was full of gum balls. I used to carry the ice cream cone in one hand, and a sticky dirty napkin in the other that was full of the gum balls that I would spit into the napkin, so that I could enjoy the gum when I was done the cone. Ugh. I can just picture what I looked like. I would have had ice cream everywhere - super sticky hands - gum in my hair - and a covered face. I still eat ice cream cones in a relatively similar way - but I never do the gum ball flavour - it's all chocolatey flavour for me now.

Tonight I made dinner for the crowds. Simple - cottage food - using whatever is in the fridge. My aunt brought a delicious quinoa salad, and you should all know how I love the quinoa. Before I show you the picture of the foods that I made, please consider my bbq'ing ability and that I lack in that skill. Husband is the bbq'er in our household, so I don't have a lot of practice. The taste was so much better than the look though - and I know that this is true because everyone ate it all up. And I noticed that when they were eating it they weren't getting me to look away so that they cold slip it to the dogs. And they didn't go to the bathroom every bite. And they didn't pretend to cough into their napkin. All gone, right to the bone.

Ok, I changed my mind - I am not showing the picture. It just isn't appetizing to look at. I have challenged myself to make it again, so that I can show a picture of it.

Pesto yogurt chicken

4 chicken breasts - bone in - you can do this for boneless, chicken legs or thighs
1.5 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 cup of pesto

In a bowl mix together the pesto and plain yogurt. Add the chicken and cover in the marinade. Cover the bowl and let sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

Heat the grill and cook over medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked. I would say that this will take at least 30 minutes. You can also make this in the oven. 400 for about 45 minutes.

The skin on the chicken was removed as it became quite cajun, but the flavour from the pesto and the moistness from the yogurt, made this chicken divine.


Alright friends - this is my view tonight - lovely. I am going to try and make myself go for a run tomorrow morning - wish me luck.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

Rotten.



Just a quick post right now, at this exact moment, because I am sitting in a gorgeous setting, playing with my camera to try and learn how to take photos, eating freshly picked local blueberries, and just plain old relaxing.


I have lots to share, a few recipes, but for right now I think that I will just say 'hello', let you know that I am still here, and that I am waiting for my nephews to come back to the house so that I can take them for an ice cream.


I am at Point Roberts this weekend, a little piece of paradise. I feel spoiled by the sweet sun that we are having. I feel spoiled that I had a chance to marinade chicken for dinner tonight. I feel spoiled that I got to take a trip to one of my favourite shops - The Gourmet Warehouse with my mom and my sister. And I feel spoiled that I can sit on the deck, with my feet up and type on a lap top.

Loves.

Enjoy!!

C