Sunday, April 30, 2006

I...

I AM: Canadian.
I WANT: World Peace.
I WISH: I could take an extended trip to Europe.
I HATE: The weather we are having today. Yesterday we sat on our deck all night. This morning it's SNOWING. Again.
I MISS: My family.
I HEAR: Some people better than others. Scott is a mumbler, people.
I WONDER: If the Calgary Flames will win game 6.
I REGRET: I have a lot of regrets.
I AM NOT: Wearing any shoes right now.
I DANCE: All around the house.
I SING: In the car when I drive to work.
I CRY: Sometimes at sad movies. The other night I cried while watching What Not to Wear. Oh, the shame.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: Polite.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: Things to give to the people I love.
I WRITE: A lot, everyday at work.
I CONFUSE: Easily.
I NEED: To relax.
I SHOULD: Not be writing this, but cleaning my house instead.
I START: Projects with good intentions, but if they're not fun, it takes me forever to finish them.
I FINISH: Every day by reading before I go to sleep.
I TAG: EVERYONE!

scooped from hillbilly, please.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

We Be Jammin'

My boss went to California and brought me back 3 jars of Knott's jam!
See, he can share sometimes.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shortbread

Day 3 of Christmas in April. Today - my world famous shortbread cookies. Mmmmm, so good.


I make these shortbread cookies every year for Scott and my boss. I wish I could tell you some heart warming story about how my Grandmother and I used to make these together and this is the recipe she made with her mother; but no. It's from the back of the Canada brand cornstarch box.

Shortbread
from the Canada Cornstarch box
Makes about 24 cookies
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup soft butter

Sift together the cornstarch, icing sugar and flour. Blend in butter until a soft smooth dough forms. Shape into 1" balls and chill 30 -60 minutes. Place 1 1/2" apart on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a floured fork. Bake 300' for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rocky Road Truffles

Here we are on Day 2 of Christmas in April. I found this recipe for Rocky Road Truffles in the newspaper and thought it would make a good addition to our Christmas Brunch we held. When Scott and I go to the movies, we mix Reese's Pieces in with our popcorn. This is a fancier version of that combo - salty buttery popcorn, peanuts and of course, chocolate. These went over very well at the Brunch, but especially well with one of our guests who not only asked for the recipe, but also took most of the leftover ones home!

Rocky Road Truffles
From the Calgary Herald
1 cup popped popcorn
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup salted peanuts
1 lb chocolate chips



Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Mix together the popcorn marshmallows and peanuts. Divide the mix between the cups. Melt the chocolate and pour carefully over the tops of the cups. Tap the tin against the counter to settle the chocolate and eliminate air bubbles. Cool until chocolate is set.

Come and join me as I celebrate Christmas in April! If you have any leftover Christmas pictures or posts, put them up!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Christmas in April Week

Friday was beautiful. 24'C. The sun beat through my office window all day long. My boss told us to leave early and enjoy the weather. I stopped by the liquor store and then went over to a friends house. We sat in her backyard, listening to Johnny Cash and Led Zepplin. (I know! She got them for her birthday.) Scott came over when he was done work, and we sat and talked and had pizza and beer. Great night.

Saturday I woke up to this:


Yeah, that's Calgary for you.

We've recovered, and might get to 16' today and we are supposed to get to 18 or 20 tomorrow.

So! Because of the snow, and the fact that I have drafts in blogger from the Christmas season that I never got around to posting, I hereby decree that this week is CHRISTMAS IN APRIL WEEK!

Hope you enjoy, and if you too have any Christmas pictures or posts you didn't do anything with in December or January, join in, put em up and let me know.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well George, you may have redeemed yourself...

We used to have a great indoor grill that we received as a wedding present. It died a year ago or so, and we replaced it with a George Foreman grill. From the first time I used it, I haven't liked it all that much. It's way smaller than my old grill, and the downward angle on it drives me crazy. Everything slides down towards the bottom, threatening to fall right off the grill onto the counter. I spend more time trying to force the food into position than cooking the food. And the drip tray drives me crazy. Yes, it's nice that because it's not attached to the actual grill so it can be cleaned easily. But that is it's downside too. Since it's not attached, it can be knocked out of the way, knocked over, or just forgotten entirely (Hi Scott!).
But then came the day I turned it from a crappy grill to a fantastic panini maker. And lo, the suckage was much less great. See above, our spectacular Garlic Roast Beef with Tomatos and Smoked Cheddar Cheese Panini. Georgie-boy may not end up being donated to the Salvation Army after all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Breakfast for dinner

Sometimes nothing beats a dinner of sausage, toast, brown beans and fried tomatos.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Flower Power

My very lovely Easter flowers, still going strong.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chubby Hubby interviews my boyfriend.

On my link page where I list some of the websites I try to check out a couple of times a week, one of the more stunning and stylish sites is Chubby Hubby. CH lives in Singapore and takes beautiful pictures and eats beautiful food and travels to beautiful places. Click on this link to read an interview that Chubby Hubby did with Anthony Bourdain.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mu Shu Pork

I love Mu Shu Pork from the take out Chinese place; steamy hot with those thin, soft pancakes and lots of hoisin. I'd recently seen a couple of recipes in magazines to make your own using packaged coleslaw mix. I gave it a try, and it got rave reviews. The only change I'm considering making is perhaps adding some thinly sliced mushrooms next time. Our take out place does that, and it really adds to the dish.


Mu Shu Pork
Serves 4 or more

8-10 flour tortillas

Sauce:
1/2 tsp sesame oil
5 tb water
1 tb cornstarch
3 tb hoisin sauce
3 tb tamari
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp sugar

1 lb boneless pork, like tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1 tb oil
4 cups packaged coleslaw mix


Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Set to the side.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the pork and stir fry until cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan, and add the coleslaw mix. Pour the sauce over top and cook until the sauce is thick, and the slaw mix is heated through and slightly soft. Add the pork back in and cook until heated through. When you are ready to serve, place the tortillas on a place and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until the tortillas are warm. Serve with extra hoisin on the side.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Weekend Cookbook Challenge - Caesars - Three Ways

This month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge is Easter Breakfast and/or Brunch. And since to me Easter means family, and family means drinks, I'm going with some cocktails!

Most Easters we spend with my parents, either here in Calgary or with them in B.C. Since no one has to drive anywhere, we'll usually have a couple of drinks before dinner. And during. And after.

My mom always has a different "drink special" every time we see them - margaritas, mojitos, or everyone's favorite - the Caesar.

Now, I am going to hazard a guess that most non-Canadians don't know what a Caesar is. Oh man, you don't know what you're missing!

Here's what wikipedia has to say:
"A Caesar...is a cocktail popular mainly in Canada. It contains vodka, clamato, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and is served on the rocks in a large celery salt rimmed glass, and typically garnished with a stalk of celery and a wedge of lime. It is not well known in the U.S., and many Canadians living abroad prize a bartender who can mix a good Caesar."

Incidentally, the Caesar was created right here in Calgary, where I live. The original was made with tomato juice and mashed clams. Now they are made with Clamato which is tomato juice and clam nectar. DON'T say ew, or yuck or gross. It is truly, truly delicious.

Nectar of the Gods, dude.


So for WCC, I present to you:

Caesars - Three Ways.

Here are the basic ingredients you'll need for a Caesar:
vodka
clamato
Worcestershire sauce
tabasco sauce
lemon or lime wedges
celery stick
small plate
celery salt or rimmer

At our house we use rimmer, which is just spicy salt.

Classic Caesar
1 serving
1 oz vodka
6 oz (3/4 cup) Clamato
2-3 dashes Tabasco
2-3 dashes Worcestershire
Pour some celery salt or rimmer on the small plate. Run a wedge of lime or lemon around the rim of the glass, and dip in the salt. Set aside.
In a large glass, combine the vodka, Clamato, Tabasco and Worcestershire. Mix well. Place 2-3 ice cubes in the rimmed glass and pour in the Caesar. Add a celery stick and wedge of citrus.


Smoky Caesar
Same as above, but add 4 drops of liquid smoke.

Tequila Caesar
Same as above, but substitute 1 oz of tequila for the vodka.

The tequila one is my current favorite. Scott can't stand it, but he doesn't like tequila, so there you go.

You can also substitute the celery for a piece of picked asparagus, a pickled green bean, or a couple of pimento stuffed olives. All are equally delicious.

If you have a chance to try one of these out, be it on a visit to Canada, or perhaps if you local store happens to stock Clamato, give it a go. It's a perfect brunch drink. And if you don't enjoy alcohol, a virgin Caesar is just as good.

I'll raise my glass to you all this weekend as me and my family enjoy our Caesars.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bean Salad

We were invited to a potluck dinner on the weekend and were asked to bring a salad. I made my fabulous Bean Salad and it was a hit.

This bean salad is so tasty and good for you, you're gonna want to smack yo' momma. But don't smack mine; she's the originator of this recipe.
Bean Salad
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 16oz can green beans
1 16oz can yellow beans
1 16oz can kidney beans
1/2 cup diced red onion

Drain and rinse the beans. Blend the first four ingrediants and add the beans and onions. Toss and chill at least 6 hours; overnight is preferable.
**NOTE** I always substitute one of the cans of beans for a can of mixed beans. Sometimes I take out the green beans, sometimes the kidney beans. Anyway you make it, it's good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yeah, baby!


Check out my FANTASTIC new t-shirt! I am going to wear the crap out of this beautiful thing. A thousand thanks to Poppy at Poppy Cedes for introducing me to T Shirt Hell. Scott is so jealous! He says that as soon as we get our home computer fixed, he's getting a shirt from them too. Little does he know, I've already got one picked out for him!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #4 - Easter Breakfast/Brunch

Happy Friday to you all!

Just wanted to remind you that WCC event number 4 is happening next weekend. Our theme is Easter Breakfast and/or Brunch. So go grab an unexplored cookbook and whip up some tasty morning treats!

Email us your entry by April 17.


Alicat and Sara

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Don't Gross Out The World Quiz

I got 9 out of 11. How did you do?