Weekend 5 – October 4/13

BakedAlaska1. Baked Alaska: This is a cute little dessert from Martha Stewart Living. I love Baked Alaska, but I’m not sure if my husband has ever had it. That seems weird to me, considering he loves ice cream and his mother used to make all kinds of cakes when he was growing up. I may have to make this for his upcoming birthday.

 

chicken-stock2: Homemade 5-Minute Chicken Stock: Chicken stock in 5 minutes? I’m so there! 🙂 I’m really curious and excited by this whole concept. Can it really be done in five minutes?! How? Who? Why? Wow… Where have I been hiding that I’ve never heard of this? If this works, I’m not only going to be over the moon happy, but it’s going to simplify a great deal of my life and get me away from packaged chicken stock mix which has sulphites in it. Woot!

Crullers3. French Cruller Doughnuts: Or as we call them in this house, tractor wheel doughnuts. 🙂 The husband loves tractor wheel doughnuts. It’s his all-time favourite. I like them, too, but I’m not big on doughnuts across the board. But, that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to making them for the husband’s birthday. Oh, no. These babies are definitely being made!

 

PepperDressing4. Cracked Pepper Salad Dressing: I need more salad dressing options. I need to expand my somewhat limited repertoire. That’s part of being an adult, right? (How would I know? I’m totally guessing here. ;-)) This seems like it should be quite tasty, too. We tend to eat salad all year in our home, so this will be quite lovely to have in rotation. Can’t wait.



PotatoWaffles5. Mashed Potato Waffles: Oh, Joy The Baker has done it again. She really gets our need for comfort food done up non-traditionally. She really does. I love that girl. And not just because she has curly bangs like me!

 

 

 

Weekend 5 Recap

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Made the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rollups (which I have dubbed the “poor girl’s cannoli” for some strange reason) today. They were easy to bang out, and pretty straight forward. A great recipe idea when you have kids who want to help bake something in the kitchen. It wasn’t until after my fourth “poor girl’s cannoli” that I remembered how many calories each one actually contain. Whoops! My bad. No wonder my stomach was so upset with me.

PoorGirlCannoli-1These would be a great little family gathering dessert idea, but I really can’t see me putting them out during a brunch with my friends. Although, I could be talked into making a small batch for the kids if someone requested a kid-friendly dessert as part of the buffet. I liked this, and so did the husband. Enough to recommend it to parents.

 

PorkKebabs-1PorkKebabs-3I first made the Sesame Chicken Kebabs using the recipe from this blog, but to be honest, there were way too many onions called for (which I knew going in from experience as a cook, but I remained faithful to the original recipe) and the meat was too wet to stick together let alone cling to the wood skewers (I should have taken pix of the mess in my frying pan when I made that batch. Yuck!), so I remade them using pork, half the onions, used herbs de Province, and added a half a cup of breadcrumbs to soak up a lot of the moisture.

PorkKebabs-5I also formed the meat into thicker logs, froze them, then pan fried them in lots of oil. When they came out of the pan, each was rolled around in the sesame seeds and then had the skewers inserted before plating them. I find ground pork tastes better than ground chicken does overall in this recipe. My husband loved the pork kebabs, just as I did, and he also didn’t like the chicken kebabs (too many onions, and the overall taste lingered for hours in our mouths). If you like food on a stick, then this recipe is for you!

PotatoFrittata-1I served my pork kebabs with this tasty potato frittata I whipped up without a recipe (sorry) for lunch today instead over a bed of fragrant Jasmine rice – as I did when I made the ground chicken version. That lunch earned me a fist bump from the husband. Love when that happens. Love!

 

                ADDENDUM:

GoldfishCrackers-1 GoldfishCrackers-2 Found some time today to make the Goldfish crackers. I’m not sure why I never made crackers before today, because they’re dead easy to make. I was floored at how simple it was the make the dough. The only time consuming part of making these crackers is cutting them out, because they’re so small and you then have to prick them with a fork, but I’m totally going to make crackers at home from now on! I will drop the amount of salt the recipe calls for when making them, but definitely these will happen again. And other types of crackers. Hopefully ones with a butter substitute or less butter called for. The crackers were very oily to handle. I didn’t like that part. Blech.

Tom&HerbBread-3 Tom&HerbBread-1I also baked the Tomato & Herb Bread. I have it resting right now so I won’t get a chance to taste it until some point on Monday. Probably with dinner. At the earliest. It looks great, and it baked up nicely. I have high hopes for this one. 🙂

Weekend 5 – Sept 20/13

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Tomato-Herb-Bread-10-495x4941. Fresh Tomato & Herb Bread: I’m thinking this will make a lovely companion to any soup or stew as the cold weather cranks up in the next few months. I’m putting it on today’s list in September because I want time to test this recipe and make a few batches to bake up and freeze so I don’t have to worry about wanting a few slices with dinner randomly at a moment’s notice. My mouth is watering just thinking about how it’s going to taste.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups 0432. Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-ups: Now this is solely for the husband. Everything about it has his name written all over it. From the bread (check), to the cinnamon (check and check) to the filling (swoon), he will be pleased. Definitely!

 

 

ChanaMasala3. Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala): Kevin, from Closet Cooking, has this tasty and comfort looking spicy chickpea stew I really want to make and eat this very instant. Love this kind of stew over rice! This plays nicely into my chickpea addiction, so… Yeah, you just know I’m going to make a whole vat of this stuff to hoover back.

 

Goldfish-Crackers4. Homemade Goldfish Crackers: This is a no-brainer, right? Some days I come home from work in this zombie vegetable state, and the cooking just does not get done. Dinner? Eat air. Thirsty? Lick your lips. It’s brutal some nights around here. If it weren’t for snack foods like these crackers, my husband might waste away. 😉 (Ok, not really, but he would eat these every night for dinner if they were kicking around.)

sushiballs5. Chicken Teriyaki Sushi Balls: I have some ground pork left over from this week, so I may use them in these sushi balls. I may not, but I may. We’ll see if I’ve found another use for the pork by then or not. I have everything to make these right now but some defrosted chicken. These look like they’d be a great brunch item. I’d need a great dip for them, though. That shouldn’t be too hard to whip up.

(stroking chin) Hmm…

 

 

 

Weekend 5 – Sept 13/13

MichaelOoooh, it’s Friday the 13th. Are you superstitious? I’m not, but I always support those who are, because I want to feel a part of something. I have a sad little life like that. 😉

So, work is work. We’re gelling together as a team nicely after four weeks, which is good because the large crowds haven’t died down. At all. It’s kinda scary when you look up.

burnWhat’s new, you ask? Well, I managed to burn my hand at work while on a break yesterday. I was trying to pour hot water from the dispenser into my tea cup when I misjudged where the invisible internal spout was on this newer dispenser machine (on older models, the spout hangs down so it’s visible and you don’t have to guess) and the scalding water dropped down on my hand instead of down into my waiting cup that was positioned about two inches away. Oops. Imagine my surprise. It doesn’t look so bad now, and it only hurts in the small area that got hit the longest which is where I have a bit of bruising and swelling.

I figure the burn will all be healed by Sunday or Monday – just in time to do it all over again? 😉 The good news is this will NOT affect my Weekend 5 list. Woot. So, here we go:

SesameChickKebabs1. Sesame Chicken Kebabs: These will be done on Sunday since I have not one lick of chicken in the house right now. We’re planning a Costco run on Sunday AM to grab more. I really like the idea of ground chicken on sticks rolled in sesame seeds for some strange reason. I’m weird like that. Bonus: I’m thrilled to find another food blogger with the Brachydactyly Type D (cosmetic) gene mutation in his or her thumb(s) like I have. I wonder if this person is a member of the Facebook group? Or, perhaps s/he isn’t even aware his or her thumbs are different from others and is somewhat loved and is considered special by the others in our small circle??

alfredo-12. Healthy Fettucine Alfredo: I don’t use Alfredo sauce much because I usually don’t like the taste of commercial white sauces. They’re… caulky. Also, I don’t think they’re as heart smart or calorie friendly as basic tomato sauce. And truth be told, I much prefer a lovely basil pesto, but the husband won’t have anything to do with pesto. He’s anti-pesto. Have you ever heard of anything so silly? Anyway, the use of a vegetable to make this sauce has me intrigued enough to try it. I wonder if the husband will suspect?

caramel peanut butter filled brown butter oatmeal cookies3. Caramel & Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies: For brevity, I condensed the name of this blogger’s cookie. I don’t have all day for a name that long, y’know? 😉 (That sounds mean, doesn’t it?) These look great. Again, this will be for the inlaws more than for us. The husband isn’t big on caramel anything, but he might try one or two if he’s curious enough because he does adore his peanut butter so. And I really adore Fall themed oatmeal cookies. Win-win.

Tomato-Herb-Bread-10-495x4944. Fresh Tomato & Herb Bread: I’m thinking this will make a lovely companion to any soup or stew as the cold weather cranks up in the next few months. I’m putting it on today’s list in September because I want time to test this recipe and make a few batches to bake up and freeze so I don’t have to worry about wanting a few slices with dinner randomly at a moment’s notice. My mouth is watering just thinking about how it’s going to taste.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups 0435. Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-ups: Now this is solely for the husband. Everything about it has his name written all over it. From the bread (check), to the cinnamon (check and check) to the filling (swoon), he will be pleased. Definitely!

Weekend 5 Recap

Frittata&GrBeanFries I decided to make the green beans for dinner on Friday night since I had the day off and lots of time to work on them, but as a side to the frittata. The frittata was the main attraction. I loved it. So tasty. I recommend this recipe.

The beans, however, were… ok. I liked the taste of them enough, but my gripe is with the amount of work that goes into deep frying them. I’m not a fan of deep frying at home. I really have to be into the food going into the hot oil to set this up and babysit it at the stove top. Perhaps it’s something you’re into, but not me. And the batter fought with me, so it was frustrating. I’ll give this one a pass, but if you’re interested and don’t mind the labour intensive work, go for it.

SpagBunsTonight for dinner, I decided to try my hand at making the noodle burger ‘buns’. It was really easy to make and fry up, but I made them too big and that lead to sloppy buns, lots of extra food and a plate of bits and bobs on the plate as I wiped my hands off over and over. The issue with making the spaghetti buns instead of the ramen noodles is that’s all we tasted – despite using jalapeno-lime aoili sauce, turkey burgers and lots of roasted peppers.

Spagbun-8SpagBun-7

BakedApples-3My SIL’s birthday is on Tuesday, so I baked up the apples I bought the other day. I left the skins off because she doesn’t like them, and I left out the pecans because she’s allergic to nuts, but other than that, it’s the same dish. The recipe was quite straightforward and easy to throw together quickly and to dress up any way you like once it comes out of the oven.

 

BakedApples-2I topped ours with fresh whipped cream and drizzles of homemade caramel sauce. Everyone liked the taste and textures, but the apples themselves were slippery and hard to cut with a spoon alone, so serve this dessert with a fork and knife. I’m recommending this as a lovely, simple apple dessert, perfect for the fall and last minute bakes.

I made the salt, but I have yet to use it, so I’ll let you know how that turns out another time.

 

 

Weekend 5 – Sept 6/13

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Wow, it’s been so long. I’m sorry. I have two jobs now, and this week marked the end of training on the second one, and my schedule during the week finally stabilized, so I am back! Let’s do this, kids.

I have a few things that caught my eye that I’ve been waiting all week to make. Hopefully that husband, and all of you, will enjoy my picks and decide to give them a whirl in your own kitchens this weekend

Beans1. Copy Cat TGIF’s Green Bean Fries: I have some beans I want to use up before they go bad, and before the recycle guys pick up our green bin contents (the ends of the beans) in the morning, so I’m going to make a batch of these to go with tonight’s dinner efforts. (See #2.)

 

 

 

Frittata2. Zucchini-Tomato Frittata: I have very limited energy after a long week at work. Coincidentally, I also have eggs and tomatoes in my fridge that are set to expire very soon, so this easy dinner idea is a great use of materials and the meager cooking effort I’m willing to put forth tonight. Ugh.
pastaburger

 

 

3. Spaghetti Bun Burger: Ever since Jay from @TheAimlessCook vlogged his version of the ramen noodle burger ‘bun’, I have been trying to decide if I want to give this a go. I’m not a big fan of ramen noodles but I bought some packets nonetheless the other day, so this weekend seems like a great time to try out his method. And in the future, I can alway sub out the ramen for homemade spaghetti noodles if I end up liking the texture. I may not. We’ll see.

 

seasoned-salt4. Seasoned Salt: Ever since I started using liquid smoke, I have been thinking about smoked salt. I have imagined all the various uses to justify baking salt with liquid smoke. It’s going to happen. This weekend. Perfectly timed for Fall cooking, of course. 🙂

 

BakedApples
5. Baked Apples: Bought some love apples today because they were pretty, and on sale. I have been going back and forth for a few hours, pouring over my Pinterest board, before finally setting on baked apples. It seemed like the right dessert to ease us into that kind of baking. And I know my husband loves this dish, so there’s that…

 

Weekend 5 Recap

So, yeah… the Weekend 5 recap. I totally forgot about this till today. OOPS. My bad. Also, I just realised all of the photos I took are on my iFone, and I left that in the car, which the husband is currently using while out on back-to-back service calls, so those will have to be added this afternoon. Sorry.

Okay, here are my thoughts first:

1. The dill pickles from last week should be done fermenting. I will wait to open them when we make our burgers for dinner. I’m sure they will be delicious. Woot!

The happily unfussy apple cake was quick to assemble and bake, meaning this would be a great dessert for kids to make with minimal supervision. Overall, I liked the texture and choice of ingredients, but for me lacked enough flavour. I think amping up the cinnamon is what needs to happen here given how much cake this recipe yields. The scant 1/2 teaspoon was simply not enough. Since the Fall weather is just starting and that means lots of apples, I will get to play around with the cinnamon increment to figure it out soon enough. Overall, this is a great little recipe to try at home as a weeknight dessert.

The mushroom rice dish has a very straightforward cooking method, and I appreciate recipes like that. However, there weren’t any seasonings included beyond a bit of S&P, and this is purely my bias but I didn’t like the inclusion of the wine to the dish. (I also don’t like coq au vin if that makes you feel better.) This is recipe I wanted to like a lot, but didn’t. Even with fresh grated parm cheese on top. (!!!) I will have to take another kick at it very soon with some seasonings. I can easily imagine this side being a staple in our home with our winter meat dishes. I’m not giving up on it. I think it’s 75% good, but I want it to be 100% great, so I’m going to retool it to my liking. I will post the final version soon.

GnocchiSkillet-3The gnocchi and zucchini ribbon dish was nice to make and eat, but it would have been a bit better if I had pan fried the gnocchi first instead of boiling it. I’m not a fan of soft, mushy gnocchi, and after boiling it to perfection then adding it to the pan to cook longer, it does tend to go mushy. Overall, this is a great little dish that’s got heart and legs. I was full for almost four hours after eating a small bowlful. And the husband was into it. It could use a bit of pow, though; I’m thinking perhaps the inclusion of some red pepper flakes or something similar, or maybe a splash of vinegar in the pan with the vegetables? In any case, this is as a lovely comfort dish that can be changed up as the seasons bleed into each other by switching seasonal produce to suit the weather and mood. Keeper.

5. I had high hopes for the sour cream and bacon potato salad, but it fell flat for me. I’m not really sure why. I haven’t had time to deconstruct the recipe and cooking method to figure it out since I was busy making a Beef Wellington at the same time. I can tell you my MIL and SIL loved this salad which I found odd because I thought for sure my MIL was going to turn her nose up at it after I tasted my first mouthful. She’s not one to eat salads that don’t measure up to hers, but she went back for seconds. Huh. And I thought at one point perhaps it was just me, but the husband thought it was lackluster as well, so who knows. {shrugs}

6. Today I’m finally getting around to making the fig jam after securing some lovely figs. Finally!

Weekend 5 – Aug 9/13

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Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter We love gnocchi in this house. It’s delicious in every dish I’ve tried it in. You can’t go wrong with these soft, warm pillows of potato goodness. Often I will fry gnocchi to get a nice crispy feel to them as part of a breakfast hash with a vegetable medley. So earthy. This Gnocchi & Zucchini Ribbons in Parsley Brown Butter dish from EatingWell.com looks amazing in simplicity, in taste and in colour. This should be quite good. We’re looking forward to this one

AppplePieCake I have 3 apples in the fridge that need to be used up, but 3 is not enough to make a pie with or even a few hand pies, so this cute Apple Pie Breakfast Cake from HowSweetItIs.com looks like it will be a perfect use for my apples. Yum!RoastedPepperDipMost of you know that I love to roast my own peppers at home. It’s cheaper, and it’s healthier for me. I have a lot of weird issues with preservatives, so I like to control my own food preparation when possible. And it’s completely possible with roasted peppers. Here is a lovely Roasted Red Pepper Dip from MarthaStewart.com that I have my eye on. I really like this idea. I want to see if it’s something the husband will be into as well. He’s picky. 🙂
potato-salad-bacon-sour-cream-herbs2 I also have 4 potatoes in my pantry I have to use up, so I’m thinking a small batch of this mouth watering Sour Cream & Bacon Potato Salad from Creative-Culinary.com needs to be made this weekend. Ooh-la-la! 😀MushroomParmRiceAnd finally, I can’t resist any recipe calling for the use of our beloved Jasmine rice. We can’t. It’s a fact. Look it up. Weak in the knees? Yup. Drooling? Oh, yeah. See? So I tripped over this little creamy rice dish on Pinterest the other day, and I have been thinking about it ever since. This Mushroom Parmesan Rice from TickledRed.com may be the perfect side dish for the pot roast I’m making this weekend. Hmm…

So, that’s what I’m making at home this weekend. What about all of you? Let me know in the comments, please.

I am curious about where everyone’ head and stomach is at right now at this odd time in the summer where it’s unseasonably cold. Almost Fall-ish. I was thinking about stew last night, too. Eek. 🙂

Weekend 5 Results

AvocadoSmoothieSmoothieMakingMorning, everyone. It’s early, and quiet here in the house.

The boy is still in bed, and I’m wide awake, sipping on my avocado milk smoothie – thinking about this blog post.

I was busier this weekend than I thought I was going to be, but since it’s a long weekend for us, technically I still have one more day to make the last two items on my Weekend 5 list. 🙂 So far I have managed to make the chai, the kimchi and the lemon curd. All very tasty, all very easy. I highly recommend the lemon curd. It was especially tasty.

ChaiThe chai was great, but as usual, I found myself without one ingredient that I thought I had but couldn’t find or didn’t remember using up already. In the case of the chai, it was the black tea. The key ingredient. {forehead smack} So, being resourceful, I used Earl Grey tea bags instead. The recipe calls for 4-5 black tea bags, but since I didn’t want the bergamot from the Early Grey dominating my chai super pack of flavour, I only steeped three tea bags.

And then I couldn’t find my star of anise pods (are they pods or just dried flower rings?) and the bag of cardamom pods went AWOL on me, so I cheated and used a bit of anise extract and dry cardamom. Into the pot they went, to swirl around with the water and cinnamon stick. Both swap outs worked nicely, and not much was lost from the tea when I strained it over the cup into my mug, so I win.

KimchiI started the kimchi last Thursday night after dinner since the brining of the cabbage was to take 4 hours. I left it go for 6 hours to really soften the leaves. But, by the time I was done straining and draining the water out of the leaves, chopping it into bite sizes and mixing it up with the hot chili pepper paste, it was after midnight when the jar was placed into the fridge, so I’m going to say it was made Friday on schedule with the rest of the Weekend 5 tries. 😉 I can cheat like that, right? Right.

LemonCurdMaking-1The lemon curd was very easy to make. More so than I remember with store bought lemon curd pre-done packets from my childhood. Huh. And the recipe called for using up the last three of my slightly aging lemons, so this was good timing.

The tartness of this curd won’t make your mouth pucker, but it is strong enough for you to taste it in, say, a blintz or a crepe with fresh whipped cream and some sweet ripe fruit. The flavour stands out, but it doesn’t overwhelm – and that’s exactly what you’re looking for. That’s the kind of curd that’s far more versatile than the overly tart, overly sugary, and overly processed kind I remember from my childhood used in pies. Blech.

The pickles will be done this morning, and after a quick trip to the grocery store across the street for items I could have sworn I already had on hand but can’t find in my pantry (isn’t that the most frustrating?), there will also be fig jam being made in my kitchen.

{happy clap}

Okay, time to get dressed and head out. Those pickles are going to make themselves!

 

Weekend 5 – Aug 2/13

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I’m starting a new category idea here today. Sue, from SuzeMuse.com got me thinking when she recently started her 5 Things To Think About posts, so in that spirit, every Friday I will post a list of 5 things I want to putter around in my kitchen making on weekends when it costs us less money in hydro to run the stove and several small appliances.

Digression: We are trying to consume less of everything these days: less food, less store bought goods, less gas, etc., but specifically less in resources like water and electricity. Matt Damon is onto something with his clean Water.org campaign, by the way. 🙂

Okay, back to the topic at hand!

Here’s my first list. Are you in? Get into it!

Auntie Stacey’s Weekend 5:

Weekend5-1

[ Fig Jam With Cardamom from Food52.com ]

Weekend5-2

 [ Lemon Curd from scratch from Food52.com ]

Weekend5-3[ Homemade Kimchi from Food, Blog & The Dog ]

Weekend5-4[ Comforting Chai from ASpicyPerspective.com ]

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[ Fabulous 1-Jar Dill Pickles from Yummy Supper ]

What are all of you making this weekend? Will you try anything from my Weekend 5 list? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your kitchen adventures. Perhaps some of your ideas can make it to one of my future lists. That would be fun!