Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hello, I'm Back!

Hello to all my lovely blogger friends. I've been out of the loop and was on an extended hiatus with my 2 children and our little dog. My children and I are on a path of healing and mending our hearts. Unforeseen circumstances had shaken our entire household a few months ago. I am a mother and father to my babies at this present time. For awhile a couldn't bring myself to cook in our kitchen. We have also moved out of our house to a flat/apartment which is a place we now call HOME and LOVE. Most of the meals I have cooked were semi homemade and nothing from scratch and couldn't bring myself to blog about them. The reason why I started this blog 2 years ago was to help with my healing process with the loss of someone very important in my life. I've met some wonderful supportive people who enjoy, love food and cooking as much as I do. Now I'm back ready to carry on with this new life and continue with this new healing process for my children and I. I hope you are all still here to follow our adventures and journey in cooking. : )

I have a blogger question. A few months ago I wanted to change the name of my blog so I created another one and didn't get around to importing my post to the new name on blogger. I don't remember what email address and password so its been dormant for awhile now. Does anyone know how I can access it? I tried to create a new one but blogger wouldn't allow me since the name already existed. Please help... If there is no way of recovering it I will have to move to wordpress.

Thank you..

Thursday, April 25, 2013

At Postino Wine Cafe With The Ladies

So I was able to go out to dinner with my sissy and girlfriends last Friday. This dinner was long overdue. We've all been so busy with our children and family and a nice relaxing dinner such as this was well needed. We went downtown to a place called Postino Wine Cafe. We sat outside the patio which was perfect. The weather was perfect and the evening was beautiful. The atmosphere was great and the tunes they were playing was perfect as well. My sissy have been wanting to take me to this place since my birthday last year because of their bruschetta but we didn't really get a chance.

We had such a good time and just laughed and laughed for hours. The ladies also laughed at the word tunes because I told one of the server that I loved the tunes that they were playing instead of in their minds I should have used the word music.. Ha ha ha! : )

I love bruschetta and this is my bruschetta board..

















You can choose four different one's and each bruschetta was cut into four little slices..

















I ordered the Fresh Tomatoes with Mozzarella & Basil..

















Prosciutto with Figs & Mascarpone..

















Ricotta with Dates & Pistachios (I had it without the pistachios)..

















Burrata, Bacon, Arugula & Tomatoes..

















Oh my gosh! Yummmm, they were soooooo good! I ate the entire board! Well, not the board just the bruschettas on it.

The ladies had this on their board...

















Warm Artichoke Spread, Brie & Apples with Fig Spread, Salami with Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella with Tomatoes and Basil, and Smoked Salmon with Pesto & Capers..

They are all soooooo good!!! We had another board and I didn't get to take a photo of it. My girlfriend had the cheese board as well..

















Three Artisan Cheeses served with nuts, fruits and toasted MJ breads..

I love this place and their Bruschetta. I will definitely be coming back here again with the Hubs, family and friends. I highly recommend that you visit Postino Wine and Cafe if you've got one near you. Everything about the atmosphere, the staff, decor, ambiance, and music it's just the perfect place to hang out, relax and unwind. : )

*This is of my own opinion and experience at the establishment and not a paid advertisement.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

This spring season has just been kicking my bum and not only mines but my children as well. My children both have asthma and when allergy season strikes it strikes the entire household. My little one's had fallen ill due to allergies and breathing problems. I have been nursing them lying awake day and night making sure they are breathing and not out of their sight. They are both feeling much better now

Now its my turn. That's how it usually goes kids are healthy, send them to school, they catch something from other children, bring it home, mummy takes care of them and when all is well, I then start to feel unwell and I've caught the bug. It's a long journey for me back to my normal self since I am also dealing with my own lung issues. When you can't breath nothing else matters and it's the worst and most helpless feeling in the world. I nurse myself back to health. It's been a struggle to get anything cooking in the kitchen so we've relied on some ready made meals. Everyone in the house has been doing the best they can.

Anyway, I tried to recreate a recipe that we tried a while ago from a Korean restaurant called Bulgogi (Barbecued Beef). When my son first tried this dish he loved it and he's our picky one. My darling daughter's more adventurous with food so she's much easier to feed. Here's how our Bulgogi turned out.

Thank you for continuing to support my culinary adventure, visiting my blog and for leaving lovely comments... Puts a smile on my face : )

















Ingredients

2 sirloin steak
2 cloves garlic minced
half an onion diced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
some coriander (cilantro)  leaves
2 tablespoon olive oil


Method

Slice the steak into small strips I just chopped mine up. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and let the steak marinate for an hour cover it in cling film and leave in the fridge. I couldn't be bothered to wait for an hour so I didn't marinade. After I've created the marinade I mixed it into the steak and placed it on a frying pan with the olive oil over medium heat. I fried the steak until the meat has cooked and sauce have reduced. Ready to serve over rice.. : )

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sticky Lime Chicken

This is another recipe that my chic-a-dis and I made during spring break. I love being in the kitchen with them cooking and experimenting (playing) with recipes. We were working with ingredients that we've already got in our pantry and fridge so there was no need for a trip to the grocery store. My babies love dishes that are savoury and citrusy. Oh, and did I say sweet? Well not too sweet just a hint of it if it's not dessert. The honey in this recipe gave it just that. So what I'm getting at is that my little one's love savoury, citrusy, salty, sweet combination.

















Ingredients

4 skinless and boned chicken breasts
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 375F.

Place the chicken breasts in a roasting pan. Mix together the lime zest, juice, honey, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Pour the mixture on the chicken and season with pepper. Place in the oven and baste every 10 minutes. Cook for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is tender and there are no pink inside. As the chicken cooks the liquid in the pan will thickens, it will give it that sticky coating. Once the chicken is cooked rub the chicken on the pan to get the rest of the tasty sticky juice on both sides.

Serve it with veg or rice. Better yet serve it with both.

Enjoy! : )


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Churros With Cinnamon Sugar

It was spring break last week and my darling daughter was home from school. My chic-a-dis had a craving for churros, so we were in the kitchen making our very own instead of going out to a restaurant and ordering them.

A churro is sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut and in France choux pastry. It's quite popular in Spain, France, Philippines, Portugal, Latin America and the United States. They can be eaten for breakfast, snack or dessert with hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Well, just about anything you want to drink it with really. There aren't any rules. We like to dip ours in melted dark chocolate.

















You'll need a piping bag and a large star shaped nozzle tip.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, whisked
pinch of salt
vegetable oil to fry them in

Cinnamon Sugar

6 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Method

Place sugar and butter in 2/3 cup water in to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour and salt to the boiling water remove from heat and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture has turned into a soft moist dough. Let it cool.

Add the beaten egg a little at a time. Cover and place in the fridge until completely cooled. Fill a large saucepan with vegetable oil. Just enough oil to submerge the choux or churros. Use the wooden spatula and place the dough in the piping bag. Squeeze out any length you want out of the piping bag into the oil and snip with scissors. Fry until golden brown and set it on a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil.

On a separate plate mix the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the churros around the cinnamon and sugar until coated.

Enjoy! : )


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

Here's another strawberry recipe that we love. This has been a favourite dessert that my two sweet chic-a-dis love to make. This is the second time they've made this dessert for me. The first time was for my birthday a year and a half ago. This recipe was inspired by Nigella's chocolate raspberry pavlova. We love it with strawberries. My children made this last week with very little supervision. My daughter beat the egg whites, added all of the ingredients and chopped up the chocolate chips. My son beat the cream into a nice whipped cream to be added once the meringue has cooked and cooled. I helped them place it in the oven and remove it from the oven. It was nice and perfect! Soft,chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

















Ingredients

for the meringue base:

6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

for the topping:

2 1/4 cups heavy cream
a small carton of fresh strawberries chopped
2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate (we had small chocolate chips that we couldn't grate so we it was chopped into smaller pieces.

Method

Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites until satiny and peaks form. Beat in the sugar spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Add in the cocoa vinegar and chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300F and cook to about an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. When it's ready it should look crispy around the edges and be dry on top. The center should feel soft. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly and let the chocolate meringue cool completely.

When you're ready to serve. Place it into a flat plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue then scatter over the strawberries and rain over with the chopped chocolates.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Strawberry Bruschetta

I mentioned with my previous post that there was a sale on strawberries so I've been creating some strawberry dishes. Here's another strawberry pairing and nibbles that we enjoy, a strawberry bruschetta. It's the second one this week. I started out with a recipe for Strawberries with balsamic vinegar. I love the sweetness of the strawberries and sugar, the sharp taste of the balsamic, and a very mild heat of pepper. Flavours that wake up your pallette. It's not only delicious its also quite refreshing and has become my chic-a-dis favourite. They have a lot of favourites : )

Add a spoonful on sliced baguettes its delicious...

















You can't just have one even if you try. You'll want more...

















It's quite nice too eaten by itself as a dessert. : )


Ingredients

A carton of strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste

Method

Chop up the strawberries.
Mix sugar and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
Add the strawberries and mix all together.
Season with a tad bit of pepper.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meatzza Random Recipe Challenge

For this months Random Recipe Challenge Dom at Belleau Kitchen is celebrating his 3rd year of Random Recipe blog challenge. We're to choose a recipe book and open to a random page and create the dish from that page. My cookbook for this challenge is Nigellissima. I have been wating for this book for several months now since it had just been released a week ago in America. My random page happens to be a recipe called Meatzza and here it is..


 I made two pans..


My pans are 8 inches, about 3 inches smaller than what was suggested which was 11 inches so the meat was a lot thicker. I doubled up the recipe which made it even thicker.

















After I've sliced it into portions the Meatzza resembled a Meatloaf because of its thickness had I used the correct size pan it would've been thinner for the meat to resemble as the crust. The way Nigella intended it to be. I did have the correct pan size I don't know why I didn't use it, just forgot about it. The ingredients are quite similar of a meatloaf. It tasted like it as well. The dish had mixed reviews from my judges and myself. There was a no, two yes, and one confused. I'll be making this again with the correct pan size, it should make a thinner minced meat crust to see if my "no and confused one" will change their mind and my yes's prefer it. : )



















Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 clove garlic peeled
salt and pepper to taste
butter for greasing
1 x 14 ounce diced tomatoes/drained
1 teaspoon garlic flavoured olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 ounces fresh mozzarella  (not buffalo) halved then sliced
few leaves fresh basil

Method

Preheat oven to 425F

In a large bowl using your hands, combine beef, Parmesan, bread crumbs parsley, and eggs. Grate in the garlic and add some salt and pepper. Do not over work it , just lightly mix together, or the meat will become compacted and dense.

Butter a shallow round baking pan of about 11 inches diameter and turn the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned ground meat were your pizza crust.

Make sure you've drained as much runny liquid as possible out of your can of diced tomatoes, then mix the tomato with the garlic flavoured oil, oregano, and some salt and pepper, and spread using a rubber spatula, lightly on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top and then put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, then adorn with some basil leaves and bring it to the table before cutting into wedges, like pizza.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Strawberry Short Cake With Dark Chocolate

This is one of my babies favourite. They love strawberries so much and this weekend there was a sale on strawberries at the supermarket. There's very little effort in creating this wonderful dessert and my little chick-a-dis had a fun time creating their own.

We used a store bought cake individually portioned, sliced the strawberries, added some whipped cream and drizzled it with dark chocolate which we melted. Voila! A very delicious dessert. My babies made this for me. : )

















This has been my quick go to dessert when pressed for time. Look at all of that chocolate goodness, yum...


















Ingredients

cake
strawberries
whipped cream
dark chocolate

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken Fricassee With White Wine and Mushrooms

I'm back in my kitchen, YAY! A while ago I mentioned I got an automatic pressure cooker. I was a bit scared at first. I remember seeing one that was not automatic on a stove top hissing and shaking with steam coming up from the lid like the one you would see from an old steam engine train but much more with force. This automatic one has much more safety features and I'll admit I was a bit frightened getting started with it.

This was my first go with the cooker and the recipe was Chicken Fricassee. I haven't had this dish before and I'm not sure if it's meant to look like this either. I only have a photo copy of its recipe page. It turned out alright. The recipe came from a book titled Great Food Fast a pressure cooker cookbook. The cooker itself was amazing. I didn't have to thaw out the chicken breasts I added everything in the pot inside it and pushed the poultry button and our meal was done in 15 minutes. Had the chicken been thawed the cooking time for it on low would be 8 minutes and 4 minutes on high. The prep time says 15 minutes I think it took me less than that.

What I learned from my first time using a pressure cooker is that when I cooked the frozen chicken it sucked out all of the liquid out of it and the chicken breast had shrunk. It was smaller than the palm of my hand! The chicken was also not tender as the one's I've tried before that was cooked from a pressure cooker as well. It may have been that the setting was too high. I had it on normal maybe I'll try low next time. Anyway, I'll fiddle with the cooker a bit more. : )

















Ingredients

4 boneless chicken
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz of button mushrooms halved
1/2 cup chopped celery ( I didn't add this)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed into 1 tablespoon water
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Toss chicken in flour that has been generously seasoned with salt and pepper until each breast is lightly coated.

2. With the cookers lid off heat butter on high or brown until melted and sizzling. Place chicken breasts in cooker and sauté until lightly browned about 5 minutes.

3. Add onion, mushrooms, celery, garlic, chicken stock, wine, lemon zest, and poultry seasoning. Securely lock the pressure cooker's lid and set for 8 minutes on high.

4. Perform quick release to release the cooker's pressure.

5. With the cooker's lid off set to high or brown. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, and simmer for 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

6. Turn off heat, and stir in sour cream. Top with fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.