Sunday, October 31, 2010

We got Boo'd!

It's Paxton's first Halloween, and last summer before he was born, when we were in Calgary we bought a little pumpkin costume from a consignment shop. Last week Scott put him in it (those of you on my Facebook already know this) and I cried for 20 minutes. Where did my baby go? Who is this big 11 month old BOY? We got him back in the costume today for some photos (on facebook and flickr). Man, I got me a cute little one.

Here are our pumpkins this year. Scott did this very impressive Frankenstein:


I did this one, from an old Martha Stewart magazine, I think. I used a drill and drilled holes all over it:


Late this afternoon someone rang our doorbell and when Scott opened the door there was a bag of candy on the mat


We got Boo'd! I read about this a couple of years ago on Suburban Bliss.


I thought it was a fantastic idea but we don't know any of our neighbors but one, and they don't celebrate Halloween. But since whoever Boo'd us doesn't know us, it doesn't matter. I'll be doing this next year for sure.

But someone remind me, ok?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zucchini Sticks with Hollandaise Sauce

I remember when I was a kid that my parents would have company over and sometimes my mom would make zucchini sticks with hollandaise sauce. I LIVED for these nights. Seriously, this dish would make it onto my last meal menu.

The zucchini sticks are basic - sliced zuke dunked in beaten egg, then tossed in seasoned flour and fried in an inch or 2 of oil until nice and brown. Drain briefly on paper towels so you don't burn your little mouth.

I make my hollandaise sauce from the recipe my Mom gave me, from Best of Bridge - here. The best, seriously.

If you're underweight and need to put on a few pounds fast, make up a big ole batch of this. If you're a pudge like me, make it once every 5 years and dream about it the rest of the time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bread Baking Babes - Portuguese Corn Bread


This month the bread for our Bread Baking Babes was chosen by Elizabeth from blog from OUR kitchen. She picked a Portuguese bread called "Broa". The bread is made with cornmeal and corn flour, with about a jillion, or maybe around 6 risings.

But it's a pretty straightforward bread. I was a little worried about how mine would turn out as my dough seemed a little more....solid than the recipe wrote. Elizabeth talked about sloppy dough, and having to use a scraper to move the dough, but mine was very.....doughy.

But it seemed to be behaving and rose well. I slashed the dough before I baked it, as I have become quite interested in slashing. The slashing came out not too bad, could have been worse, could have been better.  As for the bread itself - I liked it.  A nice crisp crust and a delicious, slightly corny interior. 


Wanna be a Bread Baking Buddy this month? Head over to Elizabeth's for the recipe and make the bread and send her a link by October 29.

Cheers!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chicken Fries with Tatziki Dip

This was a fun dinner I made a few months ago, I was working on a bunch of "fries" posts that went nowhere. This was one of my favorites. (The carrot fries were awesome, but the photos and notes are missing, feared never to be seen again.)

I cut a chicken breast into strips, then tossed them with some greek seasoning. I made a tatziki dip with yogurt, shredded cucumber, diced tomato, lemon juice and more greek spice. Then I dunked the chicken into a tempura batter and cooked them in a couple of inches of oil.


Tempura batter
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cold water

Whisk all ingredients together. Let stand 30 minutes before using.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Greek Chicken Wraps

I love meals that are easy. I love meals that produce leftovers (most of the time). And I love wraps.

There was a pack of chicken legs in the freezer and some greek seasoning in the cupboard. And some tortillas in the fridge. Greek wraps!


I set out bowls of chopped cucumber, lettuce, tomatos and olives, and crumbled feta cheese.


The chicken legs were doused in the greek spice, then grilled on the bbq. Once done, the meat was removed from the bone and chopped.


Layer the veggies, cheese and meat as you like on the tortilla, and dollop tatziki on top for good measure. Add a little hot sauce if you're feeling spicy. Roll up and devour.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Balls! Of Cake!

I'm sure you've all seen cake balls before, they've been floating around the internet for a couple of years now, most noticeably by Bakerella, who makes some phenomenal stuff.

This summer I was reading a parenting magazine that had an article about food on sticks for kids, and they had done cake pops, cake balls on sticks, with a sugar glaze instead of a dipped chocolate crust. I thought they looked fun and easy and it just happened that I needed to make a dessert for an upcoming family birthday.

I gave them a test run and while we enjoyed the cake balls, the glaze didn't work very well. Also, the dessert was going to have to travel to a different city and be stored overnight in a hotel fridge, so doing cake pops with sticks wasn't looking like a good idea. So we stuck with the balls.

Here is Bakerella's post on cake balls, if you'd like to see.

So you bake a cake. I made a box cake mix, I believe it was butter pecan. Bake it and let it cool. They break it up with your hands into fine crumbs.


Then you add frosting, again store bought. I used cream cheese frosting. Bakerella's tutorial uses a whole can and the magazine article used 1/2 a can. I used about 3/4's. Plop in the frosting and mix well until evenly incorporated and the cake will hold together in balls and you like the taste. Then form into balls. You could use a little scoop, but I just used my hands. I went fairly small, so the balls could be 1 or 2 bites. I got about 60.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. 


Then you've got to coat them in something, cause they aren't very cute naked. As I said the glaze (powdered sugar and milk) didn't work for me, so I bought some of those candy chips from Michaels to dip them in. I am not very good with finicky stuff, so they didn't come out smooth, and some didn't even get a very good coating, but they looked not bad. I stuck them in little candy papers. And chilled again in the fridge.


Because these were for a birthday, I set some aside plain and some we "decorated" with icing tubes to read "Happy Birthday".

The end result looked like Paxton may have made them, but!  They tasted great and was a cute alternative to a traditional birthday cake.  These would be fun for any kind of party and super fun for kids.  I guess I'll have to work on my decorating skills for future kid birthday parties.....

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Japadog

In the spring I visited Vancouver twice and it was my goal, my mission, to eat at Japa Dog at least once. And I did.

The hardest part was finding them, what with my very bad map reading skills. At the time they were working on opening their first store front on Robson St, which they've now done, and so I had to hunt down one of their carts. Finally I found one AND managed to be near it during operating hours!


After a brief wait, in which I could read the list of all the "famous" people who've eaten there (Today show people, Anthony Bourdain, Steven Segal) we got our dogs. I got the Terimayo, a hot dog with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and seaweed.


Scott got what I think was the Oroshi dog, with grated radish, green onion, and "special" soy sauce.

Verdict - they were both pretty good. The seaweed was awkward to eat, as lots of the pieces blew off as we ate on the side of the road. But teryiaki and mayo can make stuff like that all better. The grated radish was very refreshing and delicious. If I was hungry and in the area, I would most likely go back.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

bites

Last month at my fathers request I made him and my mom my pork skewers with almond butter sauce, the recipe I have entered in the Maple Leaf contest.
You still have time to vote for me! Go to facebook, and visit the Maple Leaf page. You have to "like" the page, and then click on the red box that says Vote Now, and then you can click on (MY) any recipe you like, and then click on the "like" button.
That'd be super. Thanks.

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I have some really excellent cookbook reviews coming up this month and next month, but I want to tell you right now about one that I bought myself - Balls!: Round the World Fare for All Occasions by Angela Murrills. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It has, as it states on the cover "Over 100 Ball-istic recipes" for every kind of meatball, fruitball, riceball, dessertball, fishball, and pretty much anything round that you could think of. We've tried the French Meatball and Onion Soup (which was amazing), the Gehaktballen (Dutch Meatballs) (very very nice), Boules Provencales (tasty), Bistro "Steak" with Oven Fries (delicious), and Grapes Glaces (refreshing). I've got many many more of the recipes marked, and when Fall arrives (it is so gorgeous right now! And how many parenthesis am I using here???) we'll give some more of them a try. Check out this book, you'll love it.

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Last month I crossed something off my Life List - I gave blood.
I tried to do that in the spring, but because I'd given birth just a few months before I was not eligible. Then I got a little freaked out and avoided making an appointment for the rest of spring/all summer when I could have given. But they called me last month and I stopped being a weenie and went and did it.
It was a piece of cake. And I'll be doing it again and again for sure. Free cookies!

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If you happen to be in the BC area, here's 3 things you might like. First, in Vernon - Davison Orchard, about an hour away from Kamloops (where I live). We went last month for the first time and enjoyed it. Paxton is a little too young for the kid activities, but we had a nice walk and a delicious lunch which included apple pie and fresh apple juice, and the most delicious turkey and spinach sandwich. Then we bought a bunch of apples and tomatos and delicious rye bread and went home. Paxton enjoyed the tomato container.

Also last month we went with my parents to the annual autumn feast at Thistle Farms. It was a beautiful setting and the food was lovely. I hope to go back again.


And last, the Salmon Run has started up at Adams River. This is an annual occurrence, which I've mentioned before. This is the biggest run in about 100 years, with millions and millions of salmon swimming home to spawn before they die. We've seen them swimming up the Thompson River, right at the park downtown, which is something we haven't seen in other years. We haven't gone to Adams River yet, probably in a couple of weeks, but I'll share photos and more info with you then.

Happy Sunday!