Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Club - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

"Please don't tell me you're fighting over that piece of paper." said Ed.
"He's not sharing!" screamed Chloe. "Sharing is caring!"
"You get what you get and you don't get upset!" screamed Fred.

'No woman should pay for the accidental death of that particular man.'

Monday, September 18, 2017

Memories of Calgary - Ginger Fried Chicken

If you've ever been to Calgary and had Chinese food, there is a good chance you've been introduced to Ginger Beef.  Ginger Beef is a Calgary institution, and a big deal there - or at least it was when I lived there all those years ago. 

Near the end of my time in the city, I worked not too far from a place with very very good GB, and my co-workers and I would occasionally go for lunch buffet, and my least favorite co-worker would always get bent out of shape and complain if they did not have full containers of GB and pot-stickers.  I am sure they just loved to see us walk through the door.

Ginger Beef it turns out, is not as well known here as it is there.  Shortly after we moved we went for lunch at a Chinese food buffet here and we were thrilled to see Ginger Beef among the offerings.  Sadly it was nothing - NOTHING - like what we had left behind in AB.

So basically we have been Ginger Beef-less all these years.  I mean, we are managing just fine, not pining away or anything, but it is one of those fond memories that sticks with you, you know?

Yet again, I have been working on purging my recipe collection.  I went through my collection of papers and tried to see not only what else could go, but what in there I actually wanted to cook.  Because why else am I keeping this stuff, right?

In there I found a recipe I found and printed in 2012 - Calgary Style Ginger Chicken!  I was so excited about finding the recipe that I made it the next night - and for me, that is moving fast.

The recipe is easy to make and is very delicious, and reminded me a lot of our old Calgary Ginger Beef.  I left out the chili peppers in the hope that the kids would eat some, but I am looking forward to trying it again soon with some spice.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Things with tomatos

Our garden is complete crap this year, as usual.  It is wickedly hot here, very dry, and the smoke from the forest fires has kept us hidden inside for what feels like most of the summer.
We got a few thumb sized tomatos off our plant before it shriveled up into brown twigs, but nothing worth getting excited about.  My parents, on the other hand, are having a booming tomato crop.  We have been graciously helping them out to make sure none of them go to waste.

Here's some of the stuff we've made -

First, because it was one of the best - Avocado Feta Crack Dip which was wicked goooooood.  We ate it as a salad.  I could eat this every day and not get tired of it.  Our was too hideous to take a photo of it as I was not a gentle mixer, but it tasted damn fine.

 We also tried, as part of my cookbook purge on Instagram, Spaghetti Con Salsa Fresca from The Urban Vegan.  Big hit.

I have a few recipes written out from Move Over Santa, Ruby's Doin Christmas! by Ruby Ann Boxcar; and let me tell you that this is a really, really, REALLY good dish.  If only the price of bacon wasn't so ridiculous, I would buy more corn and bacon and make it again today.


Faye Faye's Fried Christmas Corn Dish Delight
altered slightly from Move Over, Santa - Ruby's Doin Christmas!


6 strips of bacon
1/2 small onion, diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
kernels off of 6 ears of corn
1 large tomato, diced
salt
pepper

Chop bacon into small pieces and fry over medium heat until crisp.  Removed to a plate.  Add the onion and bell pepper to the bacon fat and cook until softened and just starting to brown.  Add the corn and tomato and cook until hot.  Season to taste.  Stir in the bacon and eat!

I am really considering trying the Soda Cracker Pie from the book- basically egg whites, sugar and cracker crumbs.  Has anyone tried it before!  Yes/no?


I made Gwyneth Paltrow's roasted salsa out of her last book It's All Easy.



Our oven is on the fritz so i nearly burned the veggies, but I just pulled off the worst bits and it was fine.  (As I wrote this I suddenly remembered that when I cooked some tomatos from another one of her books, I nearly burned them too.....whoa - 5 years ago!)


The Kids don't like spicy food much, so I left out the peppers.  It was good! 


This one was amazing too.   God, I love when tomatos are in season! We all loved this  


We are nowhere near done - I have an enormous tub of tomatos sitting on the counter, and there are more ripening in The Grandparents garden as we speak.  I need to find some more recipes asap.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Cajun all the things! Ok, a few things.....

One of the last books that I cooked from for my cookbook shelf purge was a sushi book. Like in all other cooking and eating, I am not that adventurous, and so it was a bit tricky to pick some recipes that we would all eat.  I chose a spicy salmon roll for the boys because I knew The Mister would like it for sure, and I was surprised that the spicy element came from cajun spice.
When we were making the sushi, The Mister was in charge of the salmon roll,  and i portioned off some cream cheese for him into a bowl.  I was struck with the urge to try the cajun spice with some cream cheese, and it was delicious!  I set aside some of the sushi rice, and after we had finished making the chosen rolls, I made some veggie Cajun sushi bites - a bit of molded riced topped with a smear of Cajun cream cheese and cucumber.  It, along with the other veggie sushi, was my favorite part of dinner.


During clean up The Mister set aside some of the leftover cream cheese to make himself a batch of shrimp dip and he also made a little container of Cajun cream cheese.  Make some buttered toast, spread it with this cream cheese, and top with sliced tomatos.  Oooooooh yas.
And also?  There is a stand at the farmer's market that sells the most amazing soft pretzels.  
Even more terrific toasted with some CCC (cajun cream cheese) on it.



A few days later I made chicken burgers for dinner, and while they were grilling, I mixed some Cajun spice into mayo for a topping. I was also making some pan fried zucchini coins - sliced about 1 inch thick, tossed (and sort of squished) into some fine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper - and then fried in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. I was cooking in 2 batches, so while the second batch was frying, I grabbed one of the cooked ones, dipped it in the spicy mayo and ate it. DELICIOUS! I was almost happy when The Boy kicked up a fuss about eating his zucchini, so I could "help" him out. 

The Boy is slowing staring to enjoy spicy foods, so there could be a cajun chicken sandwich, or cajun fettuccini in our future.  The Girl hates spicy food; well, actually she pretty much hates food in general, so we've got some work to do there.

Do you use cajun spices in your kitchen?  What's your favorite recipe to use them in?

Monday, September 04, 2017

Book Club - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien



"He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he - as the host; he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful - he might have to go without."

"He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait."


For Adult Summer Reading Club - Adapted From Or Into A Movie