Thursday, December 30, 2010

Food Blog Shout-Outs

I have to take a moment to give a few shout-outs to some sites I've been following recently. Lots of inspiration has been drawn from these two sites and I want to make sure I'm giving credit where credit is due.

Skinny Taste....great recipes and very Weight Watchers friendly!!!
**This site is updated daily with fantastic recipes that are so flavourful and Weight Watcher friendly

Joy of Baking....simple baking recipes with fantastic pictures...what more could you ask for?

Holiday Baking

As mentioned in my earlier post, I got really lucky and didn't have to cook anything for any of the THREE Christmas dinners we were part of.

It didn't seem right so I decided to bake a few different items and gift them in tins (who doesn't love a good re-usable tin).

Blueberry Oat Bars

**The recipe calls for raspberry preserves but I opted to use blueberry pie filling.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

**affectionately dubbed "nipple cookies" by Clutterbuck

Oreo Truffles

**Probably the easiest things to make and people go crazy for them!!! I called them Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles because it sounded much more gourmet than Oreo Truffles.

Marshmallows...I MADE marshmallows.

I love making things that sound so fancy or gourmet. Who makes marshmallows? They are such anomalies. You can buy them in the store for so cheap but who would ever think to actually make them from scratch...surely you would need to be some fancy candy maker or something to attempt that. Nope, I'm here to tell you that its even easier than the Oreo truffles.

I made them because I've been off work all week and Clutterbuck has been working. I've had lots of time to menu plan and satisfy my baking bug. I decided to make these S'mores for New Years Eve and the marshmallow recipe was also on the site...why not??

They are currently at the "let rest at room temperature for 12 hours stage" but I have a good feeling about them (how can you go wrong with 2 cups of sugar and vanilla extract?).

I will report on how the S'mores and the rest of the food for New Years goes.

Happy New Year to everyone!!! Hope you all have a great New Years Eve!

A New Camera For Christmas

Maybe this means the food photos will look better...maybe not.

Clutterbuck hit the mark this Christmas and I couldn't be happier! I've wanted a camera since ours was stolen last year. So far all I've had a chance to test it out with is Phoebe (she doesn't seem to mind).

Hope you all had a great holiday!!!

We managed to make it through unscathed and only had turkey once (well actually twice but I opted for Ham the second time). We had 3 Christmas dinners to attend and none of them required any contribution from our part. Since I wasn't going to be buying a turkey for our family meal I figured I'd buy one for another family.

I did do some baking over the holidays and will update shortly on that.

The very first picture taken...Phoebe, in the car, on the way to the Clutterbuck Christmas.

Phoebe's cousin Maggie....they don't really get along.

Clutterbuck and Phoebe recovering in between Christmases.

Phoebe in black and white.

Phoebe in sepia.

Sanchez giving the camera his best Blue Steel

Cherry Tomato Crisp

Twas the night before Christmas (eve) and I didn't really feel like cooking.

I had a PC Blue Menu Chicken Pot Pie in the freezer so I went with it. I steamed some asparagus and roasted some pearl onions, cherry tomatoes and sliced garlic in a little garlic oil. I had one lonely whole wheat bun so I broke it up and tossed it in some oil and threw it on top of the tomatoes with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Roasted in alongside the PC Pie and it turned out fabulously.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chicken Vegetable Soup

I was about to make yet another batch of my vegetable soup to live off of for the week but at the last minute I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of pasta I decided to add chicken.
So I threw in 2 bone in skinless breasts and let the whole thing simmer away for a few hours. The chicken was falling apart (just the way I like it) and the cayenne pepper was the perfect amount of heat. We ate it over a handful of fresh spinach that wilted beautifully under the hot soup.
I'm having it for lunch for the second time today and can't wait.
Another favourite of mine for soups is to throw in any leftover parmesan cheese rinds. I only buy fresh parmesan and it really grinds my gears (pun intended)when you are left with this big chunk of useless hardened cheese. Throw it into soups. It softens and adds a fantastic flavour!!
Definitely a success and just enough to get us through to the 3 days of Christmas craziness...where, luckily, I don't have to cook at all. I do plan to bake though and I'll be sure to document those adventures over the next few days (since I haven't made any of the recipes before).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baked Beef Ziti

I decided to take a stab at a recipe I tried a while ago. It has all the ingredients I love in a dish. Pasta, Ground Beef, Onions, Tomato Sauce, Garlic, and Cheese, but the last time I made it we weren't too happy about it. It was quite bland and made a HUGE amount that we resented having to eat for days after.
This time around it was fantastic. I went really heavy on the herbs and even had some fresh basil to throw in at the last minute. I also decided against Ziti because its a round smooth other words its not very good at clingy to sauces. I used a Rotini instead and it was perfect.
We really enjoyed it and have been enjoying it since (made Sunday...its Tuesday). We had it with a garden salad...yes Clutterbuck and I have different salad dressings...he will only ever eat Russian which I am not a fan of at all. Actually lately I've noticed I'm much more of a fan of no dressing on my never thought I'd see that day.
Thanks to K.Hill who also made this recipe on the weekend (that's what gave me the idea to make it again). I'll have to ask her how hers was....we can compare notes.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I figured it out!

I went with the stir fry. If you can get over all the chopping (which wine helps with) its such an easy dish.
I opted for a veggie version. I'll happily leave meat out of dishes whenever possible. Not because I don't like meat, but just because it automatically simplifies the cooking.
The only thing that can be good or bad about dishes like stir frys is that the end result is always different. This one happened to be really yummy. I used a little chili garlic sauce, lots of garlic and ginger and a little teryaki sauce. It was perfectly spicy and not too saucy.
Clutterbuck, who had previously decided he would have only salad for dinner (weirdo), even opted to have a full serving.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What should I make for dinner?

I haven't been very creative lately and have been relying heavily on old familiar recipes. I want to make something new tonight, but there are conditions:

  • Must be simple on the lighter side of prep time
  • Preferably heavy on the veggies
  • Nothing too heavy but still filling

I was hoping posting this will help me think....nope I'm still drawing a blank.

At the moment I'm thinking a veggie stirfry...maybe I'l search for a new recipe for a stirfry sauce...maybe I'll have lunch first.