Monday, July 22, 2019

Cooking Last Week

We started last week out with a couple of Italian dishes.


I thought it would be nice to have bread with our meals, so I made some baguettes on Monday afternoon.

 

On Monday evening we had rosemary polenta with eggplant and smoked cheese.


So satisfying!  You can find the recipe in this post.

The next day we tried this recipe for linguine with green olive sauce and zesty breadcrumbs.  The description of the recipe is correct when it says it's a "pasta sauce [that] isn't afraid to bite back."


We LOVED it.  We'll be making it again very soon.


I was a bit unsure about the anchovies in the recipe, so we only used two this time, although we couldn't detect them at all, so we'll put the full four in next time.  It may seem like the recipe will be too salty, but it's not.  We didn't salt anything at all (just pepper), as the ingredients, and salted pasta water add all the salt needed.  If you are an olive fan, I highly recommend this recipe.

Dessert throughout the week was a simple white cake (a sprinkle of dried, edible rose petals on top):


And breakfasts looked something like this most days:


Christopher's car was in the shop Tuesday/Wednesday (a bit of a story, but there was nothing wrong with his car in the end, which is great), so he had my car, and I stayed close to home.  It was a short week for him though, as he had Thursday and Friday off!  More about our adventures during those days in the next two posts.

What have you been cooking?  
Do you have a favourite pasta recipe?
How was your week last week?  Your weekend?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

2 Meh Meals in Saskatoon, and 1 Great One

Last weekend we were in Saskatoon to see my mom.  For dinner on Friday evening we tried a new-to-us restaurant, Primal Pasta.  We were pretty excited to go to this place, as they make all the pasta in-house, and had good reviews.  Unfortunately, we were disappointed in our meal.

To start we had the caponata with buffalo mozzarella and bread:


It was decent, although for the price, we expected more (both in amount of mozzarella, and quality of the dish).  The bread was soft, and pretty good.

I ordered the rigatoni with goat cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, greens and truffle oil:


And Christopher had the squid ink puttanesca conchiglie bottarga, with olives and capers:


Mine was alright, but not worth the price, as we could easily make this dish at home for a couple of dollars; it was was very basic.  Christopher's pasta was really under cooked; the shells were crunchy!  He is a puttanesca lover, but this one just didn't cut it.  We would have mentioned something to the server if it wasn't 20 minutes before closing time.  Since it was late and we were tired, we just ate quickly so we could get to our hotel to sleep.

Next time we want fresh pasta in Saskatoon, we'll go back to Little Grouse on the Prairie.

Unfortunately we had another mediocre meal the next morning, this time at Park Cafe.  It's hard to screw up an omelette and hashbrowns, but this place just doesn't have it down yet ...


The eggs were super dry, and the potatoes were bland.

The next day we had an excellent meal though!  We picked up a pizza from a newer place called Thirteen Pies.  My brother-in-law Riley recommended this restaurant to us.  The pizza is made with a sourdough crust - mmm!


We went inside to order the pizza to-go, and then sat and enjoyed a beverage while waiting for it.  The service was wonderful, and when the pizza came out it smelled amazing!  We couldn't wait to get it back to our hotel room to dig in.

If the pizzas have the same base (tomato sauce, or white sauce), you can get 1/2 and 1/2 to try two kinds.  We had The Killer Cheese (fior de latte, mozza, provolone, truffle honey, leeks, white sauce), and The White Walker (roasted mushrooms, provolone, mozzerela, ricotta, white sauce, truffle oil), and we couldn't pick a favourite of the two.  Both were fantastic!  It's Brooklyn-style pizza, but I think it is better than any pizza I've ever had in Brooklyn.

The sourdough crust was excellent.  We're looking forward to going back to Thirteen Pies many, many more times in the future.

The photo isn't great as it was dark, but the pizza is well worth a visit.


Our server at Thirteen Pies was surprised that we had a bad meal at Primal Pasta, and he encouraged us to give it another try sometime, so we might head back to Primal Pasta to see if they can impress us on a second visit.

Have you tried any new restaurants lately?  
Where is the best pizza in your city?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer

Two weeks of my summer holidays are done, and they have been wonderful so far!  I've been getting up early, and have been taking my time with making breakfast.  Some mornings I have had baked eggs loaded with veggies and cheese, and sometimes farmers sausage too.


And I always have fruit and coffee on the side.


Other mornings I have had toasted homemade bread, with an egg.


One morning I had leftover rice and kimchi coleslaw for breakfast.  I love non-traditional breakfasts, and sometimes prefer lunch/dinner leftovers for breakfast over typical breakfast foods.


After breakfast I always leave for a walk around the lake, and sometimes I do a couple laps.


At lunch time I make something for Christopher and I to enjoy on his breakLast week we had pizza, leftovers, and grilled cheese:


In the afternoons I've been doing all sorts of things, like visiting family, baking bread, making dessert, grocery shopping, cleaning, reading in the yard, visiting the bookstores and library, running errands, etc.


When Christopher gets home from work we usually sit outside for a while before starting supper.  Our flowers are loving all the rain and heat we've been getting!


Most days we eat outside.  Recently we had a veggie dinner with bread, which we grilled for a bit.


And last night we made mustard maple salmon, potato, and sweet peppers with halloumi:


Last week we met up with family in the park near our house to celebrate our nephew's 2nd birthday.  It was so much fun!


There is still so much summer left, and I have a stack of books that are calling my name, recipes that want to be made, babies to snuggle, and paths to explore. 

How was your weekend?  Do you have time off this summer?  How have you been making the most of the summer days?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Eating Outdoors

Many days this summer it rained hard for about 10-20 minutes, and then it went back to being beautiful out again.  We've been eating outside as much as we can, to take full advantage of the nice weather.

Recently we had Christopher's brother's family over for dinner.

Snacks first!


I prepped the meal during the day, and then Christopher did the grilling when our guests arrived.  We had Greek ribs, homemade bread, dill pickle pasta salad, bourbon bacon coleslaw, and baked beans.


Dessert was berries on a cloud:


It was wonderful to spend time with Mel, Steve, and our precious niece Charlotte.  She is the sweetest little girl, and she loved helping auntie and uncle.  She's excited to come back to our house soon to play the drums, while uncle plays guitar.  He can't wait to jam with her!  She's only four, but she's a natural on the drums.

Another day we had a really simple meal outside.  We hadn't got groceries yet for the week, so we were eating up random stuff from the fridge/freezer, and it ended up being delicious.


The bell pepper was stuffed with halloumi cheese, which was really good!  We had to dump some water from the pepper a couple times while grilling, as it accumulated in the bottom of the pepper, but other than that, it was great.  We'll make these again for sure.

I made my burger taste like a Whopper Junior.  I used to love Burger King when I was a teenager, but I got brutal food poisoning from there twice (the only two times I've ever had it), back-to-back, although years apart.  I will never eat there again, but this replication hit the spot (lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, pickles, white onion).

On the weekend we had breakfast outside, which was a lovely way to start the day.


On Sunday my aunt and uncle had all the family in town over for a BBQ.  My cousin Janine and her family were in from Toronto, so we got to visit with them, as well as cousins, and second cousins, and another aunt and uncle that we don't get to see too often.  The little kids all got to meet and play together, and us big kids got to catch up.  The rain held out for a while, but then we got a few raindrops, although no one minded.

The food was really good, and I think Christopher ate his weight in chicken:


And check out this dessert spread!


Wow!

I think everyone really enjoyed getting together with so many extended family members.  We used to all get together at Christmas when I was little, and those are some of my fondest memories.  There haven't been any family weddings in a while, and no major milestone birthdays (my great grandma's 100th birthday was a fabulous family occasion), so it was such a nice surprise when my auntie and uncle invited us over.

We stayed out past our bedtime, but it was worth it.

On Monday we ate dinner outside again.

Potatoes with sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, and chicken thighs with a Korean marinade that Christopher made:


We also made a kimchi coleslaw to round out this meal.


Last night we had plans to cook and eat outside, but it started pouring just as we were about to head out back.  We cooked inside instead, which wasn't ideal for the shrimp and pineapple skewers, but it still worked.


On the side we had mushrooms cooked with herbs, garlic, butter, and shallot, and an easy baked rice.  You can find the recipe for the skewers here, and the rice recipe here.


Tonight's dinner will be in the park, as we're heading out later to celebrate our nephew's second birthday.  Happy birthday Kingsley!  We love you so, so much 💜

How was your weekend?  How's your week going so far?  Have you been eating outside at all?  How often do you get together with extended family?