Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas Table, 2013

We had a great Christmas, but just between you and me I'm glad it's over.  I'm ready to take down the decorations, clean up the house, and get ready for 2014.  Although seriously, how can it be 2014?!?!?!

We did a German theme for Christmas this year - (see our other themed Christmas dinners and assorted stuff with the Christmas tag)

Sauerbraten - German pot roast, marinated for a few days prior to cooking in vinegar, stock and herbs and spices.

Spaetzle - homemade egg noodles.  Super easy to make.  I had to add quite a bit more water than called for to get my dough to the right consistency.

Grunkohl Mit Kartoffeln - Kale with bacon and potatos.

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots - topped with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

We also had red cabbage, gravy (see roast recipe), sour cream, and mustards on the table.

For dessert we pulled out our stash of shortbread cookies, although I'm certain that only Pax and my mom had any.

On Boxing Day I gave us a day off before leftovers and made this Honey Soy Chicken that I'd pinned on Pinterest.  It was a super good hands free dish which I needed - I was so tired!  Christmas is exhausting, yo.

For Christmas I received the cookbook Smoke and Pickles and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to start cooking from it.  It's gorgeous and the recipes look amazing and creative.  I thought I was going to have to frisk my parents at the door to make sure they didn't smuggle it out - they seemed as smitten with it as I am.

Now, do I continue to sit here and veg, or smarten up and start taking down Christmas..........

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cookinotti Christmas

Have you tried cookie butter yet?  
I read an article this fall about how it's the new "It" spread, or some such thing, but I never expected to find it in our stores here.  But lo, I did, and now it's wrapped and ready to go under the tree for a special Christmas day treat.  

We're back to our themed Christmas dinners this year.  Hope to have some good photos and dishes to share with you soon.

Merry Merry.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Masa's Bar and Grill, Sun Peaks

In the summer we took a weekend trip to Sun Peaks resort, about an hour outside of Kamloops. We ate, as we always do, at Masa's at the foot of the ski hill. They have a good variety, not bad prices, and unfortunately spotty service. We shared some appetizers:

Baked polenta sticks with a mustard sauce

Nachos and honey garlic wings
Onions rings

Masa's Bar + Grill
Village Day Lodge
Sun Peaks

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Grocery shop December 22 and Egyptian Hawawshi sandwich

This was hopefully my last trip to any sort of store before Christmas - just for odds and ends.  
I love that the Superstore is open 24 hours a day at this time of year.  I am an early riser, so for a couple of weekends a year I can go and do my shopping, be back home and have everything away before anyone else in the house is even awake.

Coffee, coconut milk, pineapple, english muffins, avocados, lemons, limes, oranges, chicken, sausage, ham, crackers, juice x 3, peas, corn, fruit snacks, granola bars, beef bouillon, jam, smoked oysters, smoked mussels, ginger ale, sparkling water, cream cheese, gingersnaps.



I made the most wonderful dish that I found on Pinterest last week, but my pictures are so horrendous that I can't post them.  
But check out this Egyptian Hawawshi sandwich - ground beef seasoned with veggies and spices and stuffed raw into pita, which is then brushed with butter and baked.

We loved them, and I will make them again.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paleo (on purpose) Chicken

2013 was not a good year for me, weight wise. I gained back the few pounds I'd managed to lose in 2012 (and maybe even a couple more) and I've struggled this year to find a path I can stick to. 
I went to a hour long nutrition class that promoted low glycemic eating, and later while doing some reading about it, I noticed I was finding lots of mentions of Paleo eating - ie basically eating what the caveman ate - meats, vegetables, fruits - and staying away from grains and processed foods. 
I won't pretend that I know much more about it, but I think it sounds interesting. 
 I could never convince my carb loving family to convert fully, and I'm sure I couldn't either, but I really like the idea of incorporating some of these ideas into our eating. 

My first dish I made was Lime and Coconut Chicken "Rice" from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods. The "Rice" is shredded cauliflower, which I've had before, and it's cooked in a deliciously simple coconut sauce. 

Cauliflower "Rice"

The finished dish 

It was a little more soupy that intended, but I started dinner late and it was nearly 7 and the small one was making too much of a fuss to wait any longer.

|This was great!  I loved how easy and flavorful it was. 
Any Paleo lovers out there got any recipe/reading suggestions?  Let me know!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I made Chex Mix!

I have long wanted to make Chex Mix but I could never find Chex cereal in our stores. Is this a new thing to Canada, I wonder? Anyhoo, I spotted a box of Rice Chex on my Sunday morning shopping. Super cool! 

The box had ingredient lists (recipes inside the box) for 3 different kinds - 2 sweet and one savory. I also picked up some peanuts and pretzels and dashed home... 

I wasn't too interested in the recipes inside the box, so I decided to change the original recipe I found online to suit us. 

My version of the mix - 
4 cups Rice Chex 
1 generous cup peanuts 
1 generous cup pretzels (I used hand broken pretzel sticks for that artisnal feel) 
65 grams butter, melted 
1 tb Worcestershire sauce 
3/4 tsp seasoned salt 
1/2 tsp onion powder 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
 Preheat your oven to 250' 
Toss your cereal, nuts and pretzels together in a large bowl. 
Stir the Worcestershire, salt and garlic and onion powder into the melted butter and mix well. 
Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated. 
Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, for 45 minutes total.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Potlucks and Lis' Antipasta Squares

We've somewhat revived our potlucks at work, and have had 2 in the past few months.  For the first one I was on dessert duty, so I busted out the great recipe for Chocolate Valentino Cake from the February 2009 Daring Bakers challenge.  It's a very simple recipe that results in a decadant cake that was a hit at the lunch.

No photo.

Since I heard the news about Lis passing away I have visited her blog a few times, reading random posts, bookmarking a few recipes to try.  Last week we had our Christmas appetizer potluck, and I decided to make one of the recipes I saved from her blog - Antipasta Squares.  It's one of her very first posts, and it made me smile to read it.  

I did a test run on the recipe, using the meats and cheeses she suggested.  It was good - but a little too meaty and eggy for me.  I decided that for the potluck I would change the meats to ham and turkey, and use marble cheese.

The night before the potluck I found some home-roasted bell peppers in the freezer, so I thawed them, chopped them and stirred in some salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.

We are lucky to have an oven at work so I baked the squares about an hour before the lunch started.  I layered the ham and turkey on the bottom crust, topped with the cheese, and sprinkled a layer of the roasted peppers on.  The second crust went on, and into the oven it went.  They turned out quite well, other than being a bit ugly to look at (so no photo!).  My co-workers ate more than I had expected, but luckily there were a few squares to take home for snacking.

The possibilities are truly endless with this recipe; you are limited only by your imagination for your filling.  I'll be coming back to this recipe again.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Clay Pigeon

I visited Victoria this fall for the first time in many many years. 
A highlight of the trip was breakfast at The Clay Pigeon - 

The Clay Pigeon 1002 Blanshard St, Victoria

Monday, December 09, 2013

Angel Hair Pasta with Peas and Bacon

I saw this recipe online in the late summer/early fall when Michael Symon's newest book was being promoted.

I love, love, love, peas and pasta together. Just a great combination. 
We tried out the recipe and I was very happy with the dish. 

My only quibble with the recipe is the measly cup of peas. Not enough!  I upped it by about half a cup, and next time will up it again.  But the flavors of the peas, bacon and mint were just terrific.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Eden Bento Cafe

A true gem in Kamloops is the Eden Bento Cafe, a very small restaurant in a strip mall on Lansdowne Street.

I do mean small - only a handful of tables, but you can order takeout as well.

The menu offers a variety of delicious Japanese/Korean dishes.  I have been there twice, and had the same dish both times, it was so good - Miso soup and Chicken Katsu Donburi.

Both were delicious - the miso soup is hands down the best I've had in Kamloops.

Service is friendly and fast and along with the food has pushed Eden Bento to the top of my favorites in the city.

The only downfall (for me)?  They are closed on Sunday.
 Eden Bento Cafe
223-450 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops