Monday, April 25, 2011

Yummy Food Recap - Vol. XIII

It's been a few weeks and it's time again for the thirteenth volume of Yummy Food Recap!  I remember when blogging used to be a big pain in the butt for me, but now it's more of a pleasure, I really look forward to it!  I'm trying out bigger pictures this time around, please give me your feedback on how it looks, and if you liked the smaller pictures more.  On that note: let's hop to it!:

Executive Summary:
Thursday, April 7th – Montana’s (see Feature Restaurant entry)

Friday, April 8th – Chicken with Wine

Saturday, April 9th – Gander Trip: BBQ Burgers and Sausages

Sunday, April 10th – Gander Trip: BBQ Salmon and Spanish Coffees

Tuesday, April 12th – Breakfast on a Montreal Bagel

Wednesday, April 13th – Salads and Hot Dogs

Thursday, April 14th – Roast Supper

Friday, April 15th – Salmon Two Ways

Saturday, April 16th – McDonald's!

Sunday, April 17th – Tortilla Soup and Stuffed Mushrooms

Monday, April 18th – Pizza and Empanadas (see Feature Recipe entry)

Tuesday, April 19th – Pork Burritos and Rice Krispie Squares

Wednesday, April 20th – BBQ Steak

Thursday, April 21st – Portabella Stirfry

Friday, April 22nd – Good Friday!

Saturday, April 23rd – Bridal Shower!

Sunday, April 24th -  Happy Easter!

Friday, April 8th

This meal gets special mention, because it’s one of the first meals my sister and I have made together.  I invited Emily over to help us cook supper because we had some extra chicken for a Rachel Ray recipe we wanted to make – Chicken with Wine.  I had my little brother over the previous weekend so I thought it would be nice to have her over for some Ashley and Josh time, too.  The recipe was simple enough, and can be found on Rachel Ray’s website here.  We surprised ourselves with how easy it was and how delicious it looked, smelled and of course tasted. 

The ingredients

Emily doing prep

It smelled so good!

Wow yum!  Thanks Rachael Ray!

Saturday, April 9th

The next day we took a last minute drive to Gander for the weekend to visit Josh’s parents.  I love visiting Gander, I always have a great time and it’s so relaxing ... not to mention all the yummy food!  We had our usual sandwich for lunch when we arrived which is something I really enjoy because they usually have mayo and lettuce and tomato – which we don’t normally have with our sandwiches.  Then for supper we sat down to a BBQ of burgers, sausages, and salad.  The burgers were crusted with peppercorns and we used Presidents Choice Steak Sauce on them – my God they were so good!

Thanks Sheila!

Sunday, April 10th

The next day, Josh’s Dad BBQ’d salmon for us with maple syrup they brought back from their trip to Montreal a few weeks beforehand.  It was some of the best salmon I’ve ever had.  We brought some Beer bread to Gander with us and Sheila made some of the best Garlic bread on it that I’ve ever had.  That paired with her delicious mashed potatoes we always have, grilled vegetables and a skewer of sweet Thai chilli shrimp and we had the best seafood grill ever!

Grilled Veg and Shrimp anyone?



Tuesday, April 12th

We ended up scoring a lot of tasty food from the Abbott’s to bring home with us, which we always enjoy!  This time we received some wine, maple syrup and maple butter, pork tenderloin, steaks, chips and dip and ... Bagels from Montreal!  The very same kind that we enjoyed at Cafe Depot when we took our trip there last November – we were so excited that the first thing we did the morning after we got back from Gander was to try and replicate the tasty breakfast sandwich from Montreal on our bagels.

I miss Montreal

Wednesday, April 13th

Taking a break from the rich food we’d been eating over the past few days, Josh and I decided that we’d make Tuna Salad and Chicken Salad sandwiches respectably for lunch that day.  I opted to eat mine on Melba rounds instead of bread.  For supper we were in the mood for something fast and easy, so we grilled up some hotdogs – YUM!

Tuna salad sandwich

Chicken salad on Melba rounds

Josh took this one, that's why it is mostly a coaster :)

Thursday, April 14th

We wanted to make some room in our freezer so we took down a pot roast to have with some veggies.  I mixed in some jalapeno Philadelphia cream cheese dip with my mashed potato and just boiled the carrots.  Turnip is a favourite of both mine and Josh’s so that was a must. And my absolute favourite part of the meal would have to be the dressing.  When I was a kid, it was the only thing I ate with turkey or roast when Mom cooked Sunday dinner.  I do it differently than she does though.  Instead of Mount Scio savoury I use ground sage, and in addition to onions (the only other ingredient my Mom uses) I usually add dried cranberries, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed nuts (cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and brazil nuts).

Pot Roast

Friday, April 15th

Missing salmon from our trip to Gander, we picked up some to make ourselves.  I seasoned one fillet of the salmon with a seafood seasoning my old boss brought back from Hawaii for me – Thanks Wilma!  The other fillet was seasoned with a glaze made from maple syrup, soya sauce, and garlic – amazing!   We ate them on top of basmati rice with red and yellow peppers.

Hawaiian Spiced on the left, Maple Soya Sauce Garlic on the right

Saturday, April 16th

McDonald’s was promoting their new 1/3 pound Angus burgers with a sale so we decided that McDonald’s was our choice for supper that day.  Josh had a Bacon Cheeseburger 1/3 lb Angus burger and I had a crispy south-western chicken sandwich.

Mmm, I love some me some greasy McD's

Sunday, April 17th

We used another of our Epicure meal seasoning packs to make tortilla soup, which we enjoyed with a side of taquitos (which we ended up dipping in the soup!).  The soup mix had black beans, corn and assorted seasonings in it.  All we needed to add was a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes; it was very yummy but was even yummier the next day when we had some leftover soup for lunch.  Later that day we watched an episode of The F Word about Gordon’s top 10 recipes, after which we were really hungry from seeing all of that great food.  So I scraped together various yummy looking things and made stuffed mushrooms:  bacon, button mushrooms, chopped spinach, scotch bonnet hot peppers, cheese, and onion.

I really liked dipping the tacquitos into the soup!

Stuffed Mushroom Heaven

Monday, April 18th

A recipe we picked out to make for supper was from Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” cookbook:  Pork Empanadas (see Feature Recipe for more).  They took so long to make that Josh and I were getting hungry, so we used one of the little dough rounds to make a mini pizza.  It was fun and silly and surprisingly delicious! 

Mini pizza on homemade dough that we baked in a small frying pan in the oven

Wow, so cute and tiny!

Me digging into my slice of pizza, it was actually really tasty!

Wednesday, April 20th

It was a great day for grilling on April 20th, so we fired up our crappy little BBQ grill for some steaks.  They were gigantic!  A little keg seasoning and some prime steak seasoning from Hawaii and they were ready to go.  We ate them with an alfredo sidekick, honey chipotle carrots with corn, and caramelized onions and mushrooms.  We enjoyed this amazing meal with a Corona with lime each 

Mammoth Steaks

We had to cut them off the bone to fit the sides on the same plate

Thursday, April 21st

Another meal we had on our menu for the week was a portabella mushroom stir-fry.  We used 4 mushrooms, corn, carrot, celery, green pepper, and Brussels sprouts and ate the stir-fry on basmati rice.  I seasoned it with some soya sauce, honey garlic VH sauce, and some Asian 5-Spice seasoning from Epicure.

Veggie stir-fry

Friday, April 22nd

Religious holidays always give us the best excuses to eat a lot of food (I’m thinking of Christmas here!), and Good Friday is no different.  We had supper at my Mom’s house, which consisted of fish and chips takeout from The Big “R” on Blackmarsh Road.  I had an omelette for lunch which was delicious.  I used hash browns, cheese, green pepper and pickled jalapenos.  See the Guest Blog tab for Josh’s take on his fishy delights from that day...


That night I had my friend over to help me make a Bridal Shower cake for the wedding we are both standing in this summer.  I was really nervous so we bought some candies, cracked open some Chardonnay and got to work.  The end result was great, despite my freak-out about half way through that Krista pulled me out of :)

I baked the cakes the night before - French Vanilla flavor and Butter Pecan flavor
Steph's Bridal Shower Cake

Side View

Saturday, April 23rd

This past Saturday I enjoyed a day filled with friends and food, two of my favourite things!  I was responsible for bringing wings, which I bought at Sobey’s in the Deli department.  They were fully cooked and breaded, and tasted a lot like Mary Brown’s chicken – YUM!  I ate a lot of them that day.  I additionally stuffed myself with salami, pepperoni and cheese from a platter, tonnes of cake, and lots of nachos.  I didn’t really have any meals that day, just a lot of food! 

Sunday, April 24th

Happy Easter!  I tried to start the day off right with an egg (Easter themed? Lol!) but it came out crappy, so I ended up using up the last of our eggs making some scramble.  It ended up yummy.  For supper my Aunt Paula made Prime Rib roast with turnip, dressing, carrots, potato and Yorkshire puddings.  She makes amazing gravy and puddings, and the rest of the plate was equally as delicious.  I am sorry now that it was so good I didn’t even pause to take a picture for this blog.  Just take my word that it was yummy. 

I also had a slab of cake and butter cream icing left over from the Bridal Shower cake I made for Steph, so I made a quick Easter/Birthday cake from that for dessert.  Paula celebrated her birthday the day before, so I thought why not make a dual purpose cake.

Last minute cake!

That’s it for this edition of Yummy Food Recap.  Shout outs go out to Spanish Coffees, Cadbury Mini Eggs with popping candy in them, Corona’s with lime, Beer Bread, Mr. Krispie bunnies, Marshmallows, icing sugar, and Apple Cider Ice Wine!

Rice Krispie Eggs!

Ice Wine

Spanish Coffees

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yummy Food Recap - Vol. XII

Hello and welcome!  It is time once again to feast your eyes on my culinary adventures over the past few weeks.

Executive Summary:

March 21 - Chili
March 22 - First BBQ of the Season
March 23 - Rustlers
March 25 - Snow Day + Beer Fest
March 26 - Ribs and Roasted Veg
March 27 - Get Stuffed (see Feature Restaurant section)
March 30 - Pork Chops and Sweet Potato
March 31 - Dominion "The Works" Pizza
April 1 - Dorito Day!
April 3 - Pork Tenderloin Salad
April 4 - Cauliflower Quiche and Garlicy Green Beans + Starbuck's
April 5 - "Joe's Special"
April 6 - Epicure's Jambalaya

Alright, here goes..

Monday, March 21st
This was my little sister's birthday, so right after work we went to Mom and Dad's house to give birthday gifts, eat cake and all of that fun stuff.  Josh has the chili on all day on our stovetop so when we got back from the birthday celebrations all that we needed to do was pour up a bowl of hot chili and dig in with some multigrain Tostitos.  It was super delish!


Tuesday, March 22nd
When we visited Gander that past weekend we were given two lovely steaks from Josh's parents.  So when we saw how nice it looked outside after work we fired up our BBQ for the first time in 2011 and had an amazing supper of steak, jalapeno cheddar sausages and an alfredo noodle sidekick.

First BBQ of 2011 Season

Wednesday, March 23rd
On Wednesday we decided to take a break from cooking and we ate at Rustlers on Torbay Road.  We both ordered the Mustang burger (Josh with a side of garden salad and me with a side of fries!)  We also shared an order of Wagon Wheels, which are these gigantic onion rings that I think the cooks might even caramelize before battering/deepfrying.  Everything was absolutely great about this meal.  It really was exactly what I wanted - the sauce was IDENTICAL to Don Cherry's Ultimate Sauce which made me very excited :)

Rustlers Mustang Burger + Fries + Wagon Wheels

Friday, March 25th
Friday morning we were hit with a disgusting storm which resulted in my first snow day in almost 2 years ... yay!  Taking advantage of this extra day I did something I had put off since Christmas - Make Bread.  I pulled out the bread pans Mom gave me for Christmas and whipped up some Bread & Roll mix (Okay, I know it's not from scratch, but it's the best I was willing to do).  I used half the bag of mix, which is enough for two loaves.  But instead of making two loaves I saved half of it to make bagels!  My friend Melissa (or as I often call her: Momo) showed me and my friends how to make these delights about 3 years ago when she was visiting from her studies in Norway.  I haven't tried them since but I remembered them being amazing, so I tried to make a few for Josh for his upcoming birthday.  We made 6 all together:  4 cinnamon raisin and 2 jalapeno cheddar.... yea we have a big thing for spicy peppers and cheese!   Check out the Feature Recipe section for more info and pictures of the bagels...

My Bread Baking... it is not risen enough, I've learned my lesson for next time!

Friday afternoon we enjoyed a lunch of Chicken Tacquitos and salad.  I brushed some Diana's Honey Garlic BBQ sauce on the tacquitos during the last 5 minutes in the oven and they were amazing.   

Delicious Salad with Tacquitos

Friday night we stalked down to the Convention Centre for the 3rd Annual NLC Beer Fest.  We've gone each year the event has been held, usually because it's Josh's birthday weekend, but mostly because we have a genuine love for the subtleties of beer.  We are not big drinkers, but we do love a beer with supper on occasion, and Beer Fest lets us taste the varieties that the NLC are going to consider carrying.  We always leave with great ideas for what beers to serve with meals.  One of my favorite parts of the evening was the Rickard's "Brand Experience" room.  It was almost set up haunted house style, with winding corridors (minus the cobwebs!).  The first room was Rickard's Red, the first I had tasted by the brand.  A hostess walked us through the history of the brew, noting the ingredients, and telling us how to sniff and taste the beverage.  I love that they did this!  In the next room on the tour was not only my favorite Rickard's brew, but my favorite brew of all time:  Rickard's White.  This beer is great on tap - being served with a slice of orange is a must.  In the final room was Rickard's Dark - it's accented with maple and they even served us up a mini dessert of Rickard's Dark with a dollop of Vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup - YUM!  Also yum was the assortment of mini burgers, mini sausages, boneless wings, Ziggy's french fries and bags of salt and vinegar lays chips that made up the munchies at Beer Fest.

I loved the mini stein for Beer Fest this year!  Josh shows off his Mill Street Tank House Ale above...

Our collection of coasters that grows each year after Beer Fest

Saturday, March 26th
Saturday was marked with a not-so-bad hangover, despite the delights of the night before.  We decided to finish off the last rack of ribs we had in our freezer from Costco.  I take my ribs seriously - they are a 4 hour commitment.  Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves (see images below).  We also whipped up a side of roasted potatoes and onion that we found the recipe for on "Kitchen Boss" hosted by Buddy of "Cake Boss" - good show!


Russet & Sweet Potato with onion and garlic roasted in olive oil

Sunday, March 27th
This was Josh's 25th Birthday!  Since we started dating we've had McDonald's breakfast for his birthday and this one was no different.  We walked to McDonald's and ordered more than we normally do because we had some coupons muahaha!  We ordered 2 Sausage and Egg McMuffins and 2 Bacon and Egg McGriddle sandwiches...ohhh so good.  We also went out for supper.  See my Feature Restaurant section for more about our eats this day.

Greasy Goodness

Wednesday, March 30th
Wednesday we continued emptying our freezer of meats from Costco and pan fried some pork chops with some onions and mushrooms, and a side of sweet potato. 

Nothing like a pork chop with caramelized onions

Thursday, March 31st
Marking March's end it was only fitting that we eat take out once more.  So after a quick visit to see my Mom and Dad we drove to Dominion on Blackmarsh Road and ordered a "The Works" Pizza from their deli.  These pizza's are INCREDIBLE.  They use really fresh produce from the grocery store and cook them to order.  "The Works" is an 15" (maybe even 18"?)  pizza that has the following:  Pepperoni, Ham, Amazing Salami, Italian Sausage, Crumbled Bacon, Cheese, Green Pepper, Fresh Mushrooms, Red Onion and sauce.  That is a LOT for only $10.99!!!  Next time you are throwing a party, pick one of these up in advance and just reheat it in your oven; you'll save loads and it's much tastier than most take out pizzas.

Note: the box takes up the entire surface of our apartment-sized stove

Josh is anxious! So am I!!!

Detail shot ^

Friday, April 1st AKA Dorito Day
When we first started dating, Josh introduced me to a tradition that he and his friends celebrate on April 1st each year called Dorito Day.  Nothing really to it except that you need to eat as many different varieties of Doritos as possible.  I have celebrated Dorito Day for 3 years now and it only gets better with each year's new flavors that come out.  At work we bought some mini bags to share, and later that night we celebrated with the Dorito Day founders with some Spicy Nacho and Sweet Chili Heat.  Next year you should celebrate Dorito Day too!  It' beats having a trick played on you.

My day was complete with this assortment!

Sunday, April 3rd
Sunday we followed a recipe in a magazine from Sobey's that they hand out for free at the cash registers.  It was Pork Tenderloin Salad.  Not too fancy, just a loin seasoned with cumin, chili powder and brown sugar, roasted and served over spinach and some veg.  It went great with ranch dressing!

Yummy Salad!

Monday, April 4th
On Saturday we had set out a list of recipes that we were going to follow for the week.  Sunday was the salad (above) and Monday we had a quiche!  It was our first time making a quiche and it was fun.  We used hashbrowns as a base, and cheeses like Parm in the egg, and had some green beans sauteed in garlic and breadcrumbs on the side.  This recipe was in the April edition of the Rachael Ray Everyday magazine (which I subscribe to because it's awesome).  I recommend you pick up a copy and check out her delicious meal ideas!  That night we also made a short trip to Starbucks to pick up some more coffee beans.  I enjoyed a yummy Skinny Vanilla Latte and a Red Velvet Whoppee Pie <3

DEEE - licious!
My Special Treat <3

Tuesday, April 5th
The next meal on our list for this week was "Joe's Special".  We watch a show on the Food Network often called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate".  Celebrity chefs share the best meals they've ever had, and tell you where to find them.  They usually visit the restaurant and do a little behind the scenes footage on how the meal is made.  There is usually a theme, such as:  "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Bacon"  or  "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: With Chopsticks"  etc.  It's a totally awesome show, and another thing I recommend you look up :)  Back to the meal... it's essentially a hash of ground beef, egg, wilted spinach, onion and Worcestershire sauce with seasonings.  Where is lacks in looks it makes up in taste.  This meal featured on the "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Crazy Delicious" episode ;)

Crazy Delicious!

Wednesday, April 6th
That's today!  About a month ago we ordered some spices etc. from a company called Epicure.  That's where we got the seasoning for the jalapeno cheddar bagels I mention above.   We also ordered a variety pack of meal seasonings:  Tortilla Soup Mix, French Onion Soup Mix, Seafood Chowder, Chili, Pulled Pork and Jambalaya... which is what we made today!  All we needed to do was brown some sausage and chicken, add onions and red peppers, then rice, chicken stock, a can of tomatoes, shrimp, and the Jambalaya mix and bake for 35 minutes.  It was THE BEST Jambalaya I've ever had!  I need to get my hands on more of this seasoning...

Yum Yum Yum!

That's all for this edition of Yummy Food Recap.  Shout-outs go to Doritos, Buttered Popcorn, Hummus, Hickory Sticks my little brother couldn't finish, and Dairy Milk Chocolate bars.