Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

1)  We were BBQing some chicken the other day when we ran out of propane.  We finished cooking inside, and it was still scrumptious!  Propane, propane ...

2)  The beets and peas that we planted are coming along nicely. 

3)  We have found three bees in the basement so far this summer (and two last summer).  They are not flying, but instead crawling along the carpet, almost like they are injured, or almost dead.  We have no idea how they are getting in!?  We also have not seen any buzzing around outside or inside the house.  Anyone else have this happen?

4)  I never used to like cantaloupe or honeydew, but I've come to like both of them over the past few years.  I had some cantaloupe on my oatmeal the other day.

5)  Tomorrow is a holiday!  We're looking forward to cooking a nice dinner tonight, and then staying up late (or until about 11:00, which is pretty late for us, haha).  Tomorrow we have a family dinner to attend.

6)  We made a noodle filled stir fry the other day.  I think I could live on Asian noodle dishes.

7)  Yesterday afternoon the sky started to get smokey due to forest fires up north.  It's been two days now of terrible air quality.  Hopefully things get better soon.

8)  Last night we had crab bee bim bop for dinner.  A coworker brought me some homemade kimchi recently, so we had that on the side.

9)  Yesterday I spent some time with my sweet nephew.  We went to the Science Center, and then out for lunch to Flip!  Giovanni had fish tacos, and I had spaetzle.  After lunch we had Menchies and then went home to play for a while.

10)  Because I am off in the summer I am able to have lunch ready when my darling husband comes home for his break.  Today we had chicken low mein.  I look forward to trying out many new recipes on him.

How is your week going so far?  If you're Canadian, what are you doing for the 1st?  American pals, what are you doing for the 4th? 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Relaxing Weekend

After our little celebration on Friday evening, the rest of the weekend was relaxing and delicious.  We didn't leave the house at all.

On Saturday morning we had curried potato, egg skillets for breakfast. 

We spent the rest of the day hanging out in the backyard, listening to tunes, having a fire, and sharing a plate of leftovers.

We started our Sunday morning by enjoying cheesy grits topped with a fried egg.  We added some green onion and hot sauce for a kick.

We spent a bit more time in the backyard, and then came inside for snacks and shows.  We're watching Shameless and Orange is the New Black these days.  What are you watching this summer?

Homemade French fries - the best!
Jamaican patty

How was your weekend?  What did you do?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Holidays!!

As of yesterday, I'm officially off of work for two months!!  One of my best buds retired yesterday, so we had her and her sweetheart over for a little celebration.  We were worried when the sun showers started around 5:00 p.m. ...

But after about 15 minutes the showers blew over, and it was beautiful.  We dried everything off and got ready to celebrate.

We had some snacks to start, including coconut shrimp:

Breaded cheesy mushrooms:

And fried chicken bites, with the best fried chicken recipe ever:

It got dark outside by the time we were eating the main course, which was ribs, mac and cheese, and corn on the cob.

We moved inside for dessert as the mosquitoes had just started to make an appearance.  We had burnt grapes for dessert.  You can find the recipe here

We had a wonderful evening celebrating a dear friend of mine. 

Let the holidays begin!  This weekend we're excited to relax, not leave the house, BBQ a lot, and soak up the hot, hot, heat.

What are you up to this weekend?   
How many years (or days or months) until you retire, haha?
(I've got 20 more years to go ... then maybe I'll try another career ... Starbucks barista!?)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pancakes - Four Ways

The Food Network magazine had some recipes a while back for pancakes four different ways: diner-style, thin and lacy, multigrain and fluffy.  We thought it would be fun to try all four, and choose our favourite. 

First up, we made diner-style.

These were the perfect thickness, with a touch of sweetness, and a beautiful texture.  The batter got lumpy from the cooled butter going into the other wet ingredients, but they still turned out great. 

Next we tried the thin and lacy

I absolutely loved the texture of these really thin pancakes folded over in a stack.  I can't usually eat many pancakes (usually two), but I love the look of a nice big stack on a plate.  These were satisfying visually, and they tasted really good too.  Like the diner-style, they also had a touch of sweetness.

Third were the multigrain.  This recipe was a lot different than the others.  It had whole wheat flour, oats, cornmeal, and yogurt in the batter.  The yogurt gave the pancakes a nice tang.

Finally we tried the fluffy pancakes.  They didn't fluff up as much as we expected.  They were just average in taste.

We both liked thee diner-style pancakes the best - they are fantastic!  We've made them a few times since first trying them, and this will be our new go-to recipe.  Our second favourite were the thin and lacy pancakes, which we'll likely make again too.  We probably won't make the multi-grain or fluffy again, as they didn't really stand out.

Diner Style Pancakes
Source: Food Network Magazine

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
2.5 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick  (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled plus more for brushing
butter and syrup for serving

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 
Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter in a different bowl.
Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (a few lumps are okay).
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat; lightly brush with butter. 
Pour 1/2 cup of batter, and cook until bubbles form on top (about 3 minutes).  Flip and cook until golden on the other side.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat.  Serve with butter and syrup.

How do you like your pancakes?  Fluffy?  Thin?  Multigrain?  With syrup?  With something else on them? 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Three Meals Out

On Friday evening we went out with my colleagues to celebrate some friends who are retiring this year.  We had dinner at The Chimney.  The portions were huge, and the food was pretty good.  The meals came with giant salads to start, and then I had the salmon.

On Saturday morning we drove to Saskatoon to see my mom.  We had lunch at Mardi Gras Grill

This restaurant serves southern-style food.  It's not as good as the stuff we make at home, but we did enjoy it, and we would go back.  We really liked the mac and cheese and grits.

Christopher got the shrimp po boy with grits, and I had the fried chicken dinner.  We shared everything.


After visiting my mom, we basically just went back to the hotel to chill out and relax.  We didn't feel like going out again, so we ordered some room service for dinner that evening.

The next morning we decided to try Two-Gun Quiche House for breakfast.  It was more of a lunch restaurant than a breakfast place.  I ended up getting the broccoli cheddar quiche with soup.

Christopher had the pulled pork sandwich with soup.

The food tasted really homemade, and the prices and service were great!

After breakfast we spent a few more hours with my mom before heading out on the highway.  It was a busy, but wonderful weekend.

How was your weekend?  What did you do?