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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Friday, June 28, 2013

Rice Pilaf (Guest Post)

I wasn't feeling well last week so Matt did a bang-up job on dinner. This was so delicious we'll be making it again and again.  Here's Matt...

Sometimes, inspiration strikes and you end up trying something new with wonderful results. We had a pork tenderloin to marinate and had a bottle of souvlaki marinade. Wanting to keep with a vaguely Greek-style flavours, I took to the Googles and quickly surfed through some recipes for rice pilaf.

I decided to use this recipe as a starting point and made a few little changes: 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chef's Salad with Home Made Ranch Dressing

Having a salad for dinner is in no way deprivation with this meaty, hearty chef's salad.   

I've long known that making your own salad dressing is best.  A vinaigrette made at home from oil, vinegar or citrus juice and fresh herbs beats bottled dressings with their sweeteners  binders and preservatives hands down.  Little did I know how easy it is to make a creamy ranch dressing with buttermilk, sour cream and fresh herbs.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pasta with (Very) Fresh Mushrooms

Mushrooms and I have a tumultuous relationship. When I was a kid I hated them more than any other food and would not tolerate even a sliver of mushroom on my pizza or pasta.  The first time I tasted and enjoyed mushrooms was in my 20s when friends grilled some marinated portobello mushrooms for a meatless dinner. It was a revelation, and I've been experimenting more with mushrooms ever since.  I still wouldn't say they're one of my favourite foods, but I do cook with them regularly and always eat them when they appear on my plate.  This is a big relief to Matt, who loves mushrooms.

So I'm sure my teen-aged self would be shocked to know that I not only eat mushrooms, but actually grew my own at home and enjoyed them.

I received this super cool mushroom kit from Mushrooms Canada and was very excited to grow them.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Soy-Ginger Flank Steak with Sweet Slaw

Grilled flank steak is easy to make and takes on the flavour of any marinade.  This recipe from Epicurious uses a soy-ginger marinade and pairs it with a sweet and spicy slaw.  Extremely refreshing and summery!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Orzo with Corn and Peppers

Matt loves orzo.  It's like rice, but it's pasta!  It's also really easy to whip up an impressive side dish with orzo.  It cooks very quickly and mixes well with most veggies, herbs and even cheeses.  You can serve it hot or cold.  It's very versatile.  

This would work as a salad, chilled or at room temperature, but I served it warm as a side dish.  Here's what you need:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jerk Chicken Drumsticks

Jerk is a Jamaican style of cooking where meat is marinated overnight in a spicy rub or paste then grilled over high heat.  You can buy any number of prepared Jerk seasonings and marinades in grocery stores, but making your own is very easy and definitely worth the effort. 

The two most important ingredients in jerk seasoning are allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers.  This recipe is inspired by Clean Eating magazine.  It calls for many ingredients, but it's relatively easy to prepare.  Here's what you need:  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Leftover Steak Salad

Last Sunday my husband surprised me by making me some massive T-bone steaks, baked potatoes and fresh, local asparagus for dinner.  The steaks were delicious but obviously way more than the two of us could finish.  

I love leftover steak.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Scallop Pappardelle

I think, perhaps, my favourite pasta is pappardelle.  These wide egg noodles are so thick and chewy, they feel so substantial.  Whenever I see pappardelle on a restaurant menu I order it.  It's my intention to someday make an authentic Bolognese sauce with pork, carrot, milk (!) and a little tomato paste to top the pappardelle but, until then, these seared scallops were a great match.  

I used this recipe from Martha Stewart and added in some asparagus.  I particularly loved the toasted breadcrumb topping and plan to use it often!

Here's what you need:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Short & Sweet Sunday - The Paloma

I love tequila, but I don't always love tequila cocktails.  A home made margarita with real lime juice is one of my favourite drinks in the world, but it's a lot of work.  Ordering a margarita in a bar almost always results in an acid-y and overly sweet commercial margarita mix.  So I'm always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy tequila.

I'd read about the Paloma, but the first time I tried it was in San Diego.  There are a few ways to make this cocktail.  You can use grapefruit soda or grapefruit juice.  You can add sugar or club soda.  My perfect recipe is below but as long as its made with tequila and grapefruit, you're good.

I paid a premium for freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and it was delicious.  This is a nice blanco tequila that was reasonably priced.  

First, salt the rim of a tall glass.  Run a lime slice around the rim and roll it in course salt.
Add ice and 1.5 oz tequila
Fill with grapefruit juice
Add a squeeze (about a tablespoon) of lime juice
Garnish with a lime slice if you like.

It's delicious and so refreshing.  If your juice is too tart, dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in the drink.  If you find it too sweet or want to cut calories, use half the juice and top with club soda.  No matter what you'll end up with a tasty drink you don't see every day.