Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ham and Vegetable Gratin

This recipe was in the latest issue of Food Network magazine, and I wanted to make it because I had all the ingredients in the house.  I love it when that happens.

I stuck to the recipe except for 2 things - I didn't have a frozen pea and carrot mix, I used just peas, and I "bammed" the crisp panko bread crumb topping with a handful of crispy onions instead of the parsley (which I thought I had but didn't).

This was really good, really filling and made lots.  If made my way it tastes just like split pea and ham soup, and you know that can't be a bad thing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

6 of my favorite restaurants in Kamloops

Why six?  Five wasn't enough, and I didn't want to do ten.  Six is the new five.

I've had this post in draft for, seriously, three years.  The number of restaurants keeps changing, as do the restaurants themselves.  Some fell out of favor, some closed, new deliciousness was discovered.  But here's how it stands currently.

In no particular order, here are my favorite places to eat in Kamloops:

Brownstone Restaurant
One of the best fine dining restaurants in town, they have amazing affordable lunches as well.
Located at the edge of downtown on Victoria in a Heritage Building (a former bank), the duck fat fries are a must try.

Donair Express
My coworkers and I discovered this tiny eatery after a lunch meeting we were to attend was cancelled, and we were roaming the streets of downtown Kamloops looking for something fast and inexpensive.  These guys deliver.  Primarily takeout as they have only a handful of stools at a small counter, the food is fast and fresh.  My favorite is the chicken donair.  Affordable, filling and deliciously garlicky. 

Indian Aroma
Located in a tiny food court on Victoria Street, Indian Aroma is a real gem for Kamloops.  The owners are friendly and the food is brilliant.  The butter chicken is the best I've ever had.  A post from fellow Kamloops blogger A.L. alerted me to a daily special to try - Papri Chaat.  Unique and delicious.

Jam Can Cafe
Jamaican food  in Kamloops!  Awesome!  The North Shore of the city hit the jackpot when this restaurant opened up.  It has a warm and friendly atmosphere and a great mix of traditional and fusion foods.  Two to try - the Jamaican Clubhouse, and the Curried Chicken Roti.  And don't forget a side of Johnny Cakes.

Passek's Classics
Local and homemade are key words here.  Many ingredients are purchased locally.  They make their own bread, smoke their pork and turkey.  The menu is large and varied with something for everyone.  Check out the $8 lunch menu available Monday to Friday.  Hungry?  Order the Schnitzel Breakfast.

Mori Mori Japanese and Asian Grocery
A place to not only pick up all your Asian groceries, but your lunch, dinner and snacks too - they do prepared take out as well, at amazing prices.  Tempura, sushi, edamame, salads,dumplings, rice bowls...... so much variety, all of it delicious and deliciously affordable.  I have a weakness for the yam tempura.

Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Thompson Okanagan Wine and Dine

Super disappointed to see only 4 Kamloops restaurants taking part in Wine and Dine this year.

Wine and Dine on through February 3.  2 and 3 course dinners for $15, $25 or $35 per person.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cauliflower Curry with Chicken

This one received absolute rave reviews from Scott - 2 bowlfuls and more complements than he has ever ever given anything I have ever cooked. Ever. 

Our curry powder is mild enough that even Pax tried it and liked it - and he is in such a picky eater stage that most times he just looks at something he doesn't recognize and declares it "Too spicy". 

Cauliflower Curry with Chicken
 Altered from a recipe by Mark Bittman

 2 Tb oil
 1 onion, minced
 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
 1 tsp ground cumin
 2 tsp curry powder
 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatos
 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into small pieces
 Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
 salt and pepper

 Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat, add the onion, and cook, stirring, until starting to brown. Add the cumin and curry and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. 

Add the cauliflower and stir well. Add the can of tomatos and 1/4 cup of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and turn the heat down to medium low. 

Cook for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is beginning to soften. Then add the chicken, stir well, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the cauliflower is tender. 

Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, taste, and add more salt, pepper and lemon juice if desired.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A different kind of breakfast sandwich

Normally if I mention breakfast sandwiches there is egg and hot sauce and cheese involved. Not this time! 

This one is a favorite of mine since the summer - peanut butter and berries. Strawberries would be an obvious favorite, but I also like raspberries and especially blueberries - I love the crunch of the blueberry with the creamy peanut butter.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Doesn't that look delicious!?!?!!?

I've been craving this sandwich for months now - we were out of town last year and I spotted a restaurant  that had them on the menu.  We tried to eat there but they were too busy, and I just couldn't get the thought out of my head.  This was supposed to be our New Years Day dinner but I was sick, so I put it off for a week.

I am so glad I made this.  So good.

Basically a Monte Cristo is a ham, turkey and swiss cheese sandwich.  But instead of eating it as is, or maybe toasting it, you go bonkers and batter and fry it.  THEN you sprinkle it with icing sugar and serve it with a side of jam.  It's amazing.

I've had this sandwich a couple of times before, most memorably at Disneyland.  So here's the recipe I followed, courtesy of a Disney recipe website:

Try it and enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Grocery shop, January 13

3 kinds of crackers, tomato juice, 2 kinds of milk.  Macaroni, lettuce, tomatos, chips, honeydew melon, apples, sour cream, cream cheese, fruit snacks, strawberries, jicama, cucumber, broccoli, deli ham and turkey, gingerale, bread.  Cost about $65.00. 

I didn't have to buy any meat this week as I'm using up some stuff in the freezer.  The chips and cream cheese are for my skinny ass husband to make a crab version of his Shrimp Dip.  Damn him. 

This week I'm making a chicken curry from Mark Bittman, mac and cheese with boursin, and a miscellaneous night where I'll just pull things out of the freezer and fridge and we'll have a mishmash dinner. 

Happy Sunday.  It's cold and snowy and I'm curled up under a blanket watching Diners Drive Ins and Dives while my boy sleeps and the washer whirrs.  There may be a cocktail too.....

Nearly Wordless Recipe - Refried Bean Enchiladas

Refried beans
Enchilada sauce


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

December food

It's January 9, and I have cooked only two interesting meals so far this year. The other night I made a Spanish Tortilla - link here, and served it with sliced tomatos and a quick guacamole. It was delicious. 
 I also made the dish that I wanted to make on New Years Day. It got scrapped when I came down with a cold and ended up in bed. 
Our first dinner of 2013 was a frozen lasagne that was not good. But this dish was worth the wait.  Post on that soon. Here's a few dishes I made in December that were excellent:

From one of my favorite books that never lets me down, How To Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman -  Broad rice noodles with chiles pork and basil.  So good.


Sauteed medallions of pork with lemon and parsley, another great one from Mark Bittman. 

Cacio e Pepe, from Gwyneth Paltrow. Delicious. 

Chicken Milanese, also from Gwyneth. I wanted to make the tomato and avocado salad to go with it, but my avocados had gone rotten. So it was just chopped tomato.