Sunday, November 10, 2019

Seven Local Restaurants We Want to Try

Our city is growing, and there seem to be new restaurants popping up all the time.  We don't often go out to eat in our own city, so it is hard for us to keep up with all the older places we still haven't been to, and all the new ones that friends have recommended.

Some older and newer restaurants we've got on our list to visit include:

1) Homestead Bar A Vin

We have heard nothing but good things about this restaurant.  It is not a place we ever drive by, so we didn't know about it until people started to ask us if we had been there yet.  Someone at work said that it was totally, "Jolene's kind of food".  After scoping out the menu, I know I want to try the bratwurst sausage with mustard, fermented veg, arugula, and cantaloupe.  The pomme gratin also sounds good!  I believe it is all smaller plates that are meant for sharing; I love eating that way!

2) Ginger Garlic

Both Christopher and I drove past this place on our way home from work one day, and it instantly caught our attention, simply because of the name.  Two of our favourite ingredients - it must be good!  With a rating of 4.9 on Google and high reviews on every other site, we're really excited to try this restaurant serving up Nepalese cuisine.  After a quick glance at the menu, I know Christopher will want to order the smoked eggplant bharta (and probably one of everything else too, haha)!

3) Luna

One Saturday morning we went to Breakfast Bistro, a restaurant in the east end that changes to Luna in the evening.  The breakfast was excellent, and we asked to see the dinner menu, which also sounded fantastic.  Luna is family owned and operated, and it has a Greek/Mediterranean influence.  The dinner menu is large, so it's sure to have something for everyone, from soups, salads, and burgers, to fish, lamb, ribs, and steaks.  This would be a perfect place for a nice evening out to celebrate something.

4) Bar Willow

Bar Willow was once Willow on Wascana, and we had been there before, however, it has been revamped as a small plate restaurant.  It's in a beautiful location in Wascana Park, and it's classy, perfect for a date night or a celebration.  The 2019 Holiday fixed-price menus are catching my eye, especially the wild boar meatballs with creamy polenta and almond crumble.  On the regular menu, my eyes are drawn to the duck wings and the ramen, among many other dishes.  Oooooh, and I am just seeing that they have a $10 brunch!

5) Fresh Carnival

I think we're probably the only people in town who haven't been to Fresh Carnival.  It's downtown, and it has all sorts of wild poutines, donuts, burgers, hotdogs, and milkshakes.  It's definitely a place to go when we're looking to indulge. I am a sucker for poutine, so I know we'll share one of those, and probably a fancy hotdog too.

6) The Cure

We stopped into The Cure in the summer, but we didn't order food.  The menu items sound delicious, so it's somewhere we definitely want to visit. I think I'd try the housemade fettuccine or the fish tacos.  They seem to keep their website up to date with events, which is great, as they often have live music and no cover charge.

7) Savory Food Trip

This is a restaurant we've been wanting to visit for about two years.  It's a Filipino restaurant and the food pictures we've seen look incredible!  I've glanced at the menu, but I don't know what many of the dishes are, so if anyone wants to toss some recommendations this way, that would be much appreciated.

Are there any restaurants you want to try in your city?
If you're from Regina, have you been to any of these places?  What do you recommend?  Anywhere else we should add to our list?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Ordering Groceries Online

We usually get our groceries on Friday evenings, but it didn't work out last Friday, so we planned to go on Sunday instead.  That morning, there was a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground, and it made us want to stay inside and hibernate; the last thing we wanted to do was go shopping.

We decided to try something new and order our groceries online, and then just go out to pick them up.  (Delivery wasn't available on Sunday, or we would have done that.) 

After a breakfast of fruit, cottage cheese, and potatoes, we took our coffees into the living room and started clicking away.

I was surprised by how easy it was!  We logged into our PC Optimum account, and most of what we buy was already there as suggestions for us, so it didn't take long to find the other items we needed and add them to our virtual cart.

You can select the brand, see prices, etc.  It took about four minutes to grocery shop and pay.  We chose a 1:00-2:00 pick up time.  At 12:30 we got a phone call from the store; three products weren't in stock, so they let us choose replacements if we wanted.  We arrived at the store for 1:00, called to say which spot we were in (there are reserved spots for grocery pick up), and a minute later we drove away with our supplies for the week.

They are particular about picking good produce, and we were impressed with what was chosen.  Our order was perfect - no complaints! 

We enjoy browsing the aisles, so this won't become a regular thing for us, but it was really nice on this chilly day.  It would be convenient to order online on the way home from a vacation, or if we had a jam-packed week.

Have you ever ordered your groceries online?
Who does the grocery shopping in your house, or do you go as a family?  Do you tend to buy the same products quite regularly?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Korean Food with Friends

On the weekend we had our good friends Matt and Alissa over for dinner.  They used to live in Korea, so we knew they'd be down for some dak galbi (like a Korean stir fry).

Christopher made the dak galbi, and I made dessert.  Dak galbi is usually served with crispy rice after, but we don't have the stone dish to do this (nor room for one), so instead of the rice, we carb it up with udon noodles.

Matt and Alissa came over with two Korean side dishes and perilla leaves.  They taught us to put the dak galbi in the leaves, wrap them, and eat.  It was so good!

We'll be eating dak galbi with the perilla leaves from now on.  The leaves have cooling properties, so they are perfect with the spicy dish

It's always so fun when we get together with Matt and Alissa; the conversation is interesting, and we have a lot of laughs. 

Dessert was cherry berries on a cloud:

At the end of the night, our friends walked home (one of the perks of living close), and we tried to watch a show but ended up falling asleep. 

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  
Do you like Korean food?

Last Week's Eats & Halloween

On Monday and Tuesday last week it was really cold!  We warmed up with some hearty eats, including one of our favourite pasta dishes, Linguine with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs:

If you like briny flavours (capers, olives) you need to make this dish!

It reheats well the next day, but good luck having any leftover!  Mmm!

We also made a new recipe, Thai Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Zucchini:


This was really easy to make, and it hit the spot.  I love zucchini, and you can never go wrong with a Thai curry.

Christopher smoked a couple chunks of salmon outside in the cold, and it smelled incredible in the cool air.  I went outside with him when he was glazing it, just to take in that wood-smoke smell.  We enjoyed some of the salmon one evening with cream cheese, paratha, and fresh dill.

My breakfasts all week mostly looked like this:

The weather warmed up for Halloween, but we only got 13 kids!  We bought way too much candy, so I guess I'll be taking it to work to share.  Our Halloween tradition is to order in pizza, so we called for Dominos and got comfy on the couch, so we could easily hop up to get the door.

We didn't dress up or go out for Halloween this year.  It was very low-key. 

How was your Halloween?  Did you hand out candy?  Take someone out trick-or-treating?  How many kids showed up at your door?  Did you dress up?  Do you order in on Halloween?

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Weekend: One for the Books

This past weekend, Christopher and I had nothing to do and nowhere to go; the weather forecast was looking windy and cold, so we planned ahead by cleaning the house on Thursday, and getting groceries on Friday.  After the cleaning, we had a really easy dinner of canned mushroom soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Once we were home on Friday evening and had unloaded the groceries, we prepared a tray of nachos and got cozy on the couch with Diagnosis, and new episodes of Working Moms.

We were warm, comfortable, and settled in for the weekend.

It wasn't long before we were falling asleep, so we called it a night.  On Saturday morning I made a batch of my favourite overnight oats (they don't actually need to be left overnight):

Once we were done breakfast and coffee, we got to work on making a batch of perogies.  The filling was mashed potato, mashed beet, fresh dill, and goat cheese.


A loaded plate of them for lunch (sour cream, simulated bacon bits, green onion, sriracha):

All afternoon we listened to music, watched The Pursuit (a really interesting documentary about capitalism), episodes of Unnatural Selection (a docuseries about biohacking), and more Diagnosis (an intense docuseries about unsolved medical mysteries; it makes me cry).

On Saturday evening, we whipped up a batch of copycat Panera broccoli and cheddar soup.

That evening we watched Chance the Rapper on Saturday Night Live.

A while back we made pumpkin pancakes and froze the leftovers.  On Sunday morning we just popped these into the toaster, whipped some cream, and sat down to a lovely breakfast.

Breakfast took such little time, and we were up quite early, so the day felt really long, which was absolutely glorious, especially since we had woken up to a layer of snow outside.

I started and finished this book on Sunday, and absolutely loved it!

Christopher worked on his music (he's combining live bass with electronic music that he's making on a free tablet he got from work years ago).

And he read a good chunk of this book; he can hardly put it down.

We listened to tunes and decided we'd listen to each record we own, one by one throughout the winter.

I read through the newest issue of Food Network Magazine and tore out all the recipes that sounded good.  I have too many of these in a drawer, all stacked up, along with every other recipe we have.  I see an organization project in the future!  

All afternoon we had a pot of smokey, hearty chili simmering on the stove.

It was the perfect meal to ease into this wintry weather.

We ate dinner early, so we still had the whole evening ahead of us - ahhhh.  Now that's what I call a weekend.

I love getting up early so the days feel extra long.

How was your weekend?  Did you get snow?
What are you reading?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Good Eats & Tuna Poke Bowl Recipe

We've been eating well around here!

Click here for the recipe.
Poutine - homemade fries, gravy, cheese curds, parsley
For Christopher's birthday last week, we made tuna poké bowls.

Tuna Poké Bowls
(for two)

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp grated ginger
2 green onions, chopped
1 chunk of raw, sushi-grade tuna (enough for two), cubed

Combine the above ingredients and refrigerate while making the rice and chopping the ingredients below.

For serving:

Cooked sticky rice (we made two servings)
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
green onion, chopped
cucumber, julienned (or use a food processor)
carrot, julienned
pickled ginger, chopped

Layer the rice, fish, and toppings into a bowl, and pour the extra liquid from the marinade over everything.  Yum!

After getting groceries on Friday evening, we just wanted an easy dinner and some TV shows.  We made spinach with chorizo, roasted asparagus, and a plate of raw veggies.

Weekend breakfasts included pumpkin pancakes one day, and fruit, cheese, and olives another day.

We had a really fun night out on Saturday.  We met up with friends at Cathedral Social Hall for dinner and then walked across the street to do some private karaoke.  The friends all had babysitters, so it was nice to have an adult night out on the town.

Sunday was a relaxing day; we didn't do too much.  I did whip up a pumpkin cream pie, dinner buns, and cranberry sauce, and we put a cook-from-frozen turkey into the oven. None of that took too long though, so we were chilling out in no time.

We never like to cook the whole turkey feast in one day, so we just picked at the turkey and stuffing, and waited until the next day to make the gravy, cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes, and veggies.

This was a nice belated-Thanksgiving meal.

Dessert was pumpkin cream pie:

Today was all about the leftovers 🦃😋

It's been really nice out lately, and Friday is supposed to be 15C!  We should start thinking about Halloween, but it's just not feeling like that time yet, and that's fine with me.  The leaves in our yard haven't fallen yet and are still green!

How was your weekend?  How is your week going so far?  
Have you started thinking about Halloween (costumes, candy, etc.)?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Celebrating Birthdays

We were out of town on Thanksgiving weekend, so we didn't have a turkey dinner, but we did get to spend time with my mom, and that's what matters the most.  She was doing really well during this visit, and it was nice to laugh with her.

When we got home on Sunday evening, Christopher's parents had us over for an early birthday dinner.  My birthday was yesterday, and Christopher's is tomorrow.

They made an epic seafood feast!

Some hot appetizers (escargot, calamari, baked scallops, seafood stuffed mushrooms):

Clam chowder soup:

And if that wasn't enough, there was still stuffed salmon and veggies!

After all these delicious eats, we had to take a good break before sharing a piece of pumpkin pie.

Wowzers!  I could not fit another bite!

Last night we made khao soi for my birthday dinner

This evening my dad took Christopher and I out to Rotisserie to celebrate.  We ate way too much, and now we are looking forward to relaxing with a show.

I think we're making pokè bowls for the birthday boy tomorrow.

Bring on 35 and 37!  We are loving getting older!

If you're Canadian, how did you celebrate Thanksgiving? 
When is your next long weekend? How is your week going? 
 (This short week has just been flying by for us.  The weekend will be here before we know it, and we have some fun plans with friends!)