Monday, July 16, 2018

Chimichurri Sauce and Other Things

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  On Friday we met up with some people at Birmingham's, a restaurant/lounge in town, to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday which is tomorrow.

We started with a delicious appetizer which was basically an egg roll filled with mashed potatoes, bacon, and cheese - like a perogy egg roll.

Then I had a chicken caesar wrap, and Christopher had a sandwich.  We took home most of my dish, as I couldn't finish it.  The appetizer would have been enough for both of us for a meal; it was really filling!

The rest of the weekend was spent with my mom.

Last week was beautiful and I got a lot of steps in as I did six laps around the lake from Monday-Friday.

On Wednesday I made a trip to the farmers' market and picked up some veggies, as well as ground wild boar, which we then used to make meatballs on the BBQ.

The wild boar meatballs were excellent, and we topped them with a chimichurri sauce, which made them even better.

I cannot get enough chimichurri sauce.  We use whatever herbs we have on hand, but our basic recipe is as follows.

Chimichurri Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
a couple grinds of pepper
approximately a bunch and 1/2 of green herbs (flat leaf parsley, cilantro, mint)

Pulse in a food processor or blender until desired consistency.  Use as a sauce over grilled meats.

Speaking of using whatever we have on hand, I made cookies the other day just to use up some leftover peanut butter chips and peanuts that we had in the freezer.  They had been in there since I did my Christmas baking, so it was time that they got used.

For breakfast one day last week I made a maple cinnamon raisin overnight oat parfait, which is super healthy, but tastes like oatmeal cookie ice cream.

You can find my recipe here.  If you don't have chia seeds, that's okay!  I didn't have any on hand this time, so I used ground flax.  Or you could just make it without either.

When Christopher came home for lunch today we had Montreal smoked meat sandwiches on homemade rye bread.

So far the week is off to a good start, and we have some fun plans with family coming up this week/ weekend!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?
Do you like chimichurri sauce?  Have you ever had wild boar?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

One of Those Meals

On Monday evening we made a meal that just totally hit the spot.  Christopher grilled jerk chicken that he had been marinating for a couple of days.  We had wood chips in the foil to add another depth of flavour.

It started to pour rain while we were outside BBQing, so we had to run in, and then Christopher would venture out into the storm to check on the chicken every couple of minutes.  We brought it in the house in a covered roaster to keep it from getting wet.

On the side we had coconut rice, and bourbon baked beans, which I had cooking slowly in the oven all day.

The three elements paired so perfectly together.

Dessert was a key lime pie with macadamia, graham cracker crust that I had made earlier that day. 

There was enough food for lunches for the following two days, and we've still got some pie left.  This is a meal that I am sure we'll make again and again.

How is your week going so far?  Do you like key lime pie?  Have you had a meal recently that totally hit the spot for you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

10 on Tuesday

1)  Our patio is getting so much use this summer!  We sit outside most evenings, basically all weekend when we're home, and I spend a good part of every afternoon reading in the yard.

Our outdoor meals lately have included rack of lamb:

Beer butt chicken (with fennel, mushrooms, and carrot):

And snacks!

2)  Speaking of snacks, Christopher recreated one of his favourite treats from the resort we love in Mexico.  It's not my idea of a yummy snack, but he just loves his anchovies in vinegar, and ate this dish all to himself on the weekend.

3)  We've really been enjoying President's Choice Cold Brew Coffee.  It's good over ice with a bit of half and half, or in a smoothie!  On the weekend we made smoothies with cold brew, banana, dates, almond milk and coconut milk.

4)  Over the past few days I've made three loaves of bread ... I can't stop.

It's chewy and addictive, and I think we're in trouble #carbloading

5)  When Christopher came home for lunch on Friday we had a yummy chicken chow mein dish. 

6)  It's our littlest nephew's 1st birthday today!  The party was on Sunday, and we had a fun time at my sister's place watching him daintily eat his cake, and watching him and our (almost) two year old niece play in the splash pool.


7)  My sister, sister-in-law, the two little ones, my 11 year old nephew Giovanni and I met up today in the park for another visit.  It was adorable to watch them swing and slide.

Niece - almost two!
Nephew - ONE!
Big brother and little brother 💙
Cousins 💜
8)  Breakfast this morning was cottage cheese with fruit (and coffee of course).  This kept me fueled up for a long walk around the lake, and then I had one slice of my homemade bread with butter before heading to the park to play with the kids.

9)  Lunch today was at Skye, a restaurant in the park, connected to the Science Center.  I had the beef ramen, although I was a bit disappointment that they didn't use ramen noodles ...

It was still pretty good though.

10)  It has been really, really hot outside, and super humid and muggy, which I am very much enjoying.  With that brings chances of major thunderstorms though, and we got about 15 minutes of one last night, and now it appears as though another one is starting.  It's nice that they're waiting until the evening, so we can at least enjoy the gorgeous days.

I kind of like an evening storm (if they don't cause damage); they're cozy!

How is your week going so far?  How was your weekend?  Is it storming where you are?  Do you like cold brew coffee?  Have you tried the store-bought stuff?  Would you put cold coffee in a smoothie?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Thermacell Patio Shield - Our Summer Miracle!

The mosquito population in Regina this summer is three times higher than usual!  For people who love to entertain in the yard, and cook and eat outside most of the summer, we were a little concerned about how we were going to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  As luck would have it, just as my summer holidays were starting, the people at Thermacell offered to send me a couple of Patio Shields to try out.  I quickly discovered they are the ultimate mosquito repeller.

One of these Patio Shields effectively repels mosquitoes in a 15x15 foot zone.  They were a breeze to put together; there are little pads that slide in at the top, and a small butane cartridge that screws into the bottom.

Then you just turn the bottom of the shield to click it on.  Each pad lasts about four hours, and the butane cartridges about 12 hours.  You don't have to use them all at once, and can turn the Patio Shields off when you're going inside for a while, to prepare your food for the grill for instance, and then turn them back on when you head back outside.

There is no mess, no spray, no open flame, no scent, no noise, and they are DEET-free.  They use the same ingredients that make chrysanthemum flowers deter insects.

We have used them on five separate occasions in our backyard now, and have not been bothered by a single mosquito while they've been on!  We've been able to cook and eat outside well into the evening, and even sat outside close to midnight recently without getting a single bite, and while using no other form of repellent.

Needless to say, we are beyond impressed.  We actually just ordered enough refills to last us for the rest of the summer.

We've tried putting the two Patio Shields across from each other on opposite sides of the patio ...

We've put them under the table ...

They've worked perfectly for us no matter where we place them on the deck, as long as we are sitting within the 15x15 foot area. 

Actually, the only time we saw any mosquitoes was when the pad wore out while we were sitting outside.  It takes a couple minutes to let the top cool down so you can switch out the pad, and within those couple minutes the mosquitoes started coming!!  As soon as we got the new pad in, we were smooth sailing for another four hours.

These Thermacell Patio Shields are a summer saver for us, and they will be living on our patio from now on.

Run, don't walk to get yourself one or two; there is still a lot of summer left!

If you are in the United States you can buy your mosquito repeller here.
If you are in Canada, you can buy one here (it's a different style, but same thing).  And the refills from here or here.  Check out the raving reviews people have left on each of those sites as well!

Have the mosquitoes been bad where you are this year?
Are you prone to mosquito bites? 
(They seem to love me, and I react really badly to them too.)

Full disclosure:  The Thermacell Patio Shields were provided to me free of charge.  All opinions are my own.  I just purchased a load of refills, because I am not living without this product this summer.