Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kiwi Berries

I just happened across these precious little things at Loblaws a week or so ago. Who knew such a thing existed??? They are fantastic. All the taste of a kiwi in a grape size fruit without the furry inedible skin.

I used them to decorate my Angel Food Cake and can't wait to find other uses for them. I think they must be super seasonal because I buy berries almost every week and have never seen them there before, but I plan to make an effort to look for them whenever I'm in the market for berries


I've been really into appetizers recently. I mean, who isn't in to appetizers? Perhaps I should say, I've been into MAKING appetizers recently. We had some family over for dinner a few nights ago and it was the perfect occasion for finger foods. The main was stuffed meatloaf (from a previous post) with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies.

However the precursor to all that was a Low Fat Spinach and Artichoke Dip and some Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. YUM!!!!! I was very pleased with how it all turned out. It was waaaay too much food but that's OK. Always better to have too much food than not enough.

I also made an Angel Food Cake for dessert. It was great, especially since it was my first attempt and our oven can be so tempermental. I'm not posting a pic of it though because I poured some strawberry juice on each slice which gave it a great flavour but made it look like a scene from I'll just leave it to your imaginations to visualize

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnut

Spinach and Artichoke Dip...Low Fat...yeah you read that right!

Beef Stew with Rosemary Dumplings

Mmmmm! This is definitely not a dish in regular rotation at our house but I can imagine it would be at other households. As, I've mentioned many times we aren't big beef eaters. However, I've been wanting to make a beef stew for a while now and finally decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

It was a Sunday project and I simmered it ALL day (from about 11am to about 7pm). The beef was tender and falling apart and the broth was so flavourful and yummy. The Rosemary dumplings were a nice addition but certainly not a necessity. This stew was a huge meal on its own.

And here's a picture of Sanchez doing some acrobatics while I was cooking...honestly, I don't know what goes through his head sometimes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One Loaf to Love

I can not take credit for the name, nor would I want to. This is the first recipe I have made from my Eat Shrink and Be Merry cookbook. Every recipe has some corny name that I may or may not find funny, depending on the time of day.

I bought this cookbook a few weeks ago when I felt I needed some new culinary inspiration. The Internet is great, but you sort of need to know what you're looking for. I wanted something I could take to bed with me and read cover to cover (the iPad doesn't count). So, that's what I did. There are several recipes that I can't wait to make. I decided to go with the meatloaf first because I have never ever been a fan of meatloaf. I mean the name alone conjures up images from Sweeney Todd in my mind. I'm just not a huge fan of beef. Ground beef in sauces and things are good, but burgers, meatloaf, shepherd's pie and the like just don't get me going.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that this meatloaf completely converted me. It was moist, flavourful and had lots of veggies mixed in. Its kind of like a ground beef jelly roll (yes...I do realize that doesn't make it sound any more appetizing). I mixed up the beef, breadcrumbs (I used Panko), egg, BBQ sauce (I used Diana's Honey Garlic), and some seasonings. Then I rolled it out on to some parchment paper and shaped it into a rectangle, spread some finely chopped veggies on top, a little cheese and rolled the whole thing up (which wasn't as easy as I was imagining it).

I think the picture says it all above. I already have plans to make this in the next few weeks for company.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pure Decadence

Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies....need I say more?

Taco Salad

LinkSo I just realized that tomorrow (March 7th) will be the one year anniversary of this blog. How fitting since the first entry was Tacos and this entry is a Taco Salad.

Its no secret that I am not a fan of a salad as a meal but this managed to slip under my radar. I was thinking back to how much I enjoyed the leftovers of last years tacos, in a salad form.

I sauteed some ground beef with onions, green peppers, tomatoes and taco seasoning. I added a little bit of ketchup in to moisten everything up a bit. Than i layered lettuce, shredded cheese, corn, salsa and the hot beef mixture. It was very filling and really good.

Asian Glazed...Things

I had some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and a package of frozen grilled veggies (M&M Meats...they're REALLY GOOD!!). I decided to play around with a sauce for the chicken. The end result ended up being really yummy and went even better on the vegetables than the chicken. I didn't really measure but here's an approximation of the proportions I used

  • equal parts balsamic vinegar, soy sauce
  • lots of garlic, some ginger (minced)
  • a few tsps sugar
  • Sriracha hot sauce (I think I used a few tbsp)
  • Water and cornstarch depending on the consistency you want
YUM!!! The hot sauce really added a great kick. I will make this again, maybe even just with some veggies and rice!

Arancini Casserole

I saw this on my favourite recipe site and decided to make it the very next day. I've only recently discovered Arancini, and I must admit that I have a hard time passing it up whenever I see it on a menu somewhere. For those who aren't familiar with them they are an Italian Risotto Ball that is rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. There is absolutely nothing low fat or healthy about them but they are so worth every bite.

This casserole was a labour of love and took a few hours to make. You could cut down the prep time by using left over risotto and pre-made or leftover tomato sauce. I chose to make it all from scratch. I think I also could have cut down on some of the rice and increased the cheese in the rice mixture...but that would have negated the "healthed up" version.

It was a layered casserole with breadcrumbs, rice mixed with cheese and a bit of tomato sauce, a mixture of ground chicken, mushrooms, peas, carrots, tomatoes, tomato sauce, on top of that went some more cheese, the rest of the rice mixture, tomato sauce, cheese and breadcrumbs.

We enjoyed this with a simple side salad. It even made so much that I have a whole extra casserole in my freezer just waiting for a weeknight dinner.

Lets Have a Moment For...

Our babies....

The boys...sharing the chair (and the sunlight)

Phoebe and Bear.