Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bad Tattoo Brewing Company

We spent a rainy lunch hour at the Bad Tattoo Brewing Company in Penticton last month.
The Mister had it on his list of places to visit, and it worked out perfectly that we were 
only blocks away from it one day when lunch time was approaching 
and we needed some shelter from the rain. 

Bad Tattoo is in a gorgeous building with a beautiful covered patio.
I wanted to sit out there in the storm, but I was the only one.

The Men both had a sampler tray of beers.
Below, The Mister and The Waitress are discussing and pointing at The Beers.

When we were walking to our seats, we passed a couple enjoying the soft pretzel appetizer, and I informed the table that we too would be having that.
It was sooooooo good.  The stone ground mustard dip - omg.  OMG.

We also shared two pizzas.  The Fromaggio -

And the Carolina BBQ.

There was also a Caprese salad I didn't get a picture of.

All the food was great.  I heard the beers were pretty good too.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New plates!

We've had our plates for a long time, 8 years now. 
And they look it. Most are chipped, a couple have small cracks. 
The big plates are TOO big, and too heavy.
We've lost a few to outright breakage. 
Chips and cracks in something you eat off of isn't a good idea, so I decided 
to treat myself to a new set of plates. 

The thing was, I didn't want a new set of dishes.  

I love mismatched things.  If you've ever seen the way I dress, you know how true that is.
But I really do!  I don't like things to be too matchy matchy.  
I sprung my idea of not only new plates, but new unmatched plates on The Mister one day when he seemed fairly agreeable.  I didn't want him to have too much time to think about it.

He was, as I thought he would be, pretty "Whatever" about it.  

Figuring out where to look took a bit more thought.  I didn't want to do dollar store cheap, and although my first idea was thrift store, I decided I wanted new, not vintage.  
And the price had to be right too.

I stopped by Pier One on a whim and found just what I was looking for 
in the corner - the clearance section!
We picked out 6 small and 6 large plates.  2 of the large and 2 of the small are the same patterns of each, because they were The Misters favorites, but the rest are all gloriously different.  

I love how great these look on the table, with our mismatched napkins and mismatched place-mats (when we use them).  (The place-mats, I mean.  We always use napkins.)

The other thing I love is how reasonably priced the 12 plates turned out to be.  They ranged in price from $1.98 to $9.95 for one of the large plates that I just couldn't resist.  The total for all 12 - $64.62!  Including tax!
Way less than buying boxed sets would be, especially since we didn't need bowls, and 
I didn't want mugs.  Don't get me started on matching mugs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Instagram - 40 books reviewed

I've reviewed 40 cookbooks from my collection now over on Instagram, and 30 are back on the shelf.

5 additional books were sent packing untested - another kids cooking book that held no appeal to The Boy or myself, 2 diet cookbooks that I didn't see anything worth trying in.  A tofu cookbook went too - while I don't mind tofu, the few dishes I'd already tried didn't deliver.  Canadians may be familiar with the last book  - Looneyspoons.  I've cooked a few recipes out of it over the years but was never a fan.  I'm not sure why I held onto it for so long, but it's outie now.

Below - a peek at some of the books I'm cooking from/will be cooking from soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Farmers Market September 19

We braved the rain for a visit to the market on the weekend.  

Didn't find a ton that appealed to us, but got some potatoes, squash, zukes, leeks and peppers.

The leeks were used that afternoon for a batch of Potato Leek soup.  One of our all time favorites.  

Only just over a month until the markets are done for the year.  
While I am glad to see a break from the super hot summer weather, 
this time of year makes me sad for summer to be over, for the sunrise 
to be later and sunset to be earlier.
I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of Fall!  Where do they days go!?!?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Coconut Whipped Cream

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and tried homemade coconut whipped cream. 

It requires a bit of planning in advance - you need to refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk overnight, so that the cream gets super thick and cold, and separates from the milk.

When you open the can, scoop the thick cream into your mixing bowl, and save 
the watery milk for a smoothie.

Beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form.  At this point I stopped and had a taste, and then added some vanilla and a spoonful of icing sugar.  I didn't want it super sweet, but just a bit more 
than it was.  Next time I would add just a bit more sugar.  
Just add a bit, beat, and taste again until you are happy.

When the cream is nice and thick, after 5 to 10 minutes of whipping, you're ready to go!
We had ours with fruit for breakfast.  Delicious.

My annoying family told me they liked it, but then no one wanted to have it again, on fruit, waffles, or ice cream.  I had it with fruit a couple more times, and then threw the rest into a smoothie.
The cream holds up very well once whipped.  
It should last a good few days in the fridge.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Penticton Farmers' Market

The Penticton Farmers' Market goes on for blocks and blocks.  It's huge and busy and you can find pretty much anything and everything you can think of.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Last month we were lucky to visit Penticton BC with my parents. We had a fun family holiday, and the days just flew by. I'll share some more photos soon, lucky you guys, but here's a few - 

The Bookshop was very cool.

Across the street was a super fun store Tiger Alley.  I'm still kicking myself 
for not buying the octopus mug.

The lake!

My first ice cream screamer in years and years.  And years.

Hee hee.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tomato Sandwiches

I love when tomatos are good (and cheap!) at the markets. 

Tomato Sandwiches are one of my very favorite late summer foods, but there are rules. 

1.  The bread must be white bread.
It can be "cheap" grocery store bread (there is no such thing as cheap bread any more!) or fancy artisanal bread. White bread just works better and tastes better for a tomato sandwich.

2.  You must use butter AND mayo.
A very thin layer of butter, to keep the bread from getting mushy right 
away, and a slightly thicker layer of mayonnaise for flavor.  

3.  A light sprinkling of salt.
Just a smidge to enhance the flavors of the tomatos. 

4.  Slice your tomatos thinly.
Also, blot gently with paper towel so they aren't too wet.

5.  If you can handle it, some hot sauce.
Because yes.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

How to : Freeze Zucchini

I bought way too much zucchini which normally wouldn't be a problem, 
but we were getting ready to go away for a week. 
I didn't want to leave it in the fridge in case it spoiled 
while we were gone,  and there was no time left to eat it. 

 What to do? I froze it.

 I washed and cut the ends off the zukes, and cut them in half lengthwise
 to make sure they would fit in the food tube of my food processor. 

Then I shredded them.

I was ready to start portioning out the shredded veg, but since
 frozen veggies can sometimes be a bit mushy once thawed, 
I decided to squeeze out as much liqiud as I could before 
measuring out 1 cup portions into bags.

The little bags were loaded into large freezer bags and then placed gently in the freezer.
I haven't used any yet, but I'm thinking baking and soups will be good 
places to see how the zucchini stood up to freezing.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Something I Like - Egg Labelling at Save On Foods

We did our grocery shopping last week at Save On Foods, and I was surprised 
and very happy by something I saw there:

Labels denoting how the hens that lay your eggs are treated!
According to this article from last year (so I am obviously very blind), the eggs are labelled in 4 categories - Caged, Cage Free Free-Run, Cage Free Free-Range, and Cage Free Organic.

Each has a description so you can understand what each category really means.

I think this is an amazing and extremely helpful tool.  The descriptions made me change which eggs I buy on the spot - the eggs I normally buy that tout their hens as antibiotic free, and fed a vegetarian diet, are caged.  I was shocked.  I had assumed that they would be cage free.

Kudos to Save On Foods!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Grocery Shop, September 7

Pizza sauce, juice boxes, coconut milk, cider vinegar, sushi rice, vegetable juice, chicken stock, angel food cake mix, mozzarella, waffles, strawberries, lemons, bell peppers, bagels, tortillas, salami, pepperoni, ham, nori


It's homemade pizza night tonight - pepperoni and peppers for The Boy, salami, peppers, hot peppers and olives for the adults.

We are going to attempt homemade sushi in the near future; something I haven't attempted in quite a few years.  I'm excited, as is The Boy.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Farmers Market - September 5

It's been ages since we've been to the market this year.
Life, yanno?

It was a good, busy market, although there were some empty 
spaces - stalls done for the year already?!?!

We brought home a big haul - country bread and olive and oregano baguette from Erwins Bakery, some small heirloom tomatoes from Thistle Farms, 
as well as red leaf lettuce, red onions, green beans, zucchini, and MORE heirloom tomatoes.

I used the small heirlooms and the baguette for tomato bruschetta.  After many years of being unhappy with my attempts at tomato bruschetta, I'm finally becoming satisfied with my mental recipe.  I've based a couple of steps on the Pioneer Womans recipe, and the results are so delicious.

What you do - chop up some garlic - I used just under a pound of tomatos, and used 4 garlic cloves.  Chop the garlic fairly finely.  Heat 1 TB of olive oil and 1 TB of butter over medium heat in a small pan.  Add the garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is soft and beginning to turn golden.
Meanwhile, chop your tomatos into small pieces.  Place in a bowl.  
When the garlic is done, scrape the contents of the garlic/butter/oil into the tomatos and stir.  Add a small splash of balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.  Shred some fresh basil leaves into the bowl, or a good shake of dried.  Let sit while you get your bread ready.
Cut baguette into thin slices.  Butter one side of the pieces.  Heat a pan over medium heat and add bread slices, butter side down.  Cook until the butter has melted into the bread, and the bread is lightly crisp.  
Place the bread rounds on a plate, butter side up.
Top a slice of bread with a spoon or so of tomato mixture, and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Wedge Salad

Last time I wrote about a wedge salad was probably the last time I had one.  
We watched some cooking show a while back that was at a restaurant that served them, 
and I knew it was time again.

Last time I went pretty basic, just tomato and chives with dressing.  
This time we added bacon and croutons - so delicious!

If you wanted to continue on the decadent path, crispy onions and avocado would be amazing.
I'm kicking myself for not thinking of that at the time.