Thursday, March 22, 2018

Guinness in Dinner and Dessert!

On Sunday, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, we made a couple of recipes featuring Guinness.  Dinner was a beef and Guinness pot pie.

This recipe was from the Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers cookbook.  I recently got a review copy of this book, and we've been making a bunch of recipes from it.  Stay tuned for a review.

For dessert I whipped up a batch of Guinness brownies, which I'll definitely make again.  They were dense, moist, and the icing was perfect.

We like minimal icing, so I halved that part of the recipe.

This didn't last too long in our house.  I am craving one right now - mmm!  Reduced Guinness goes into both the brownie batter and the icing, and it adds a caramelly deliciousness to them.

Did you have any Irish eats on St. Patrick's Day?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Getting Together with Friends

Recently we met up with pals for a wing night at Industrial Park Cafe.  This is a great little dive with wing night on Wednesdays and all-you-can-eat tacos on Fridays.

Christopher and I shared a couple pounds of wings, as well as some fries, which were really good.  It's not too often that we go out for food like this, so it was a nice treat.

On Saturday evening Christopher's brother and his wife had us over for dinner.  Our little niece was absolutely adorable, and quite entertaining throughout the evening.  When we first arrived we snacked on some cheese, meat, and crackers:

Mel and Steve ordered from Thai Basil, one of our favourite places in town.

My yummy plate:

The salted crispy chicken from this restaurant is on my must-order list if you're local and are interested in trying Thai Basil.

We had a nice evening visiting, getting some hugs from the niece, and sharing laughs and a meal with Mel and Steve.  We were home by 10:00 p.m., but then went back out as a bunch of our friends were doing karaoke at a place about two minutes from our house. 

After five hours of singing and visiting we were back home to get to bed.  I can't remember the last time we were out that late, but we had a lot of fun!  Of course, being old now, we were awake by 7:30 on Sunday morning - ha!  We really can't sleep in anymore.  We tried to sleep a bit more, but it was clear that it wasn't going to happen, so we got up and got breakfast going.

Blurry pico de gallo omelette
The rest of the day was spent lounging around, and making Irish food in the spirit of St. Patrick's day (one day late).  More on that in the next post!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Do you find it more difficult to sleep in the older you get?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thoughts on a Saturday

So, I got a food processor about seven years ago and put it under the stairs for a bit until I was going to use it, and then sort of forgot about it ...

Oops!  I busted it out of it's hiding place last weekend, and am super impressed with how easy it was to put together, how little space it takes up, and how efficiently it works; it's really slick!

I used it to make an artichoke dip/spread:

And also to make the braising mixture for Korean short ribs:

The carrot and daikon were delicious with the ribs.  We had rice and kimchi on the side.

I drank a few green smoothies for breakfasts this week.  They had milk, a banana, frozen mango, spinach, and a drizzle of vanilla - perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Other eats over the week included a plate of our homemade beet perogies, topped with sour cream, green onion, and sriracha:

And an easy beef stroganoff served over egg noodles:

Christopher had this meal ready when I got home pretty late from work on Tuesday.  We had never made beef stroganoff before, but it was really good, so it's a dish we'll have again.

Since it was pi day on Wednesday, I made a coconut cream pie for the occasion:

Our day today started out with this breakfast:

And this evening we're heading over to Christopher's brother Steve and his wife Mel's house to spend time with them and our niece Charlotte.  We're going to cook some Irish food tomorrow as a little late St. Pat's celebration!

What are you up to this weekend?  Did you have pie on pi day?  Are you doing anything to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Anything and Everything Cookies

If you're anything like me, you have a freezer or pantry full of random bags of baking supplies, from little bits of chocolate chips, to coconut, and a variety of chopped nuts.

I did a lot of baking at Christmas, and have had a bunch of odds and ends in the freezer that I've been wanting to get rid of, so I threw them all together the other day and made some delicious cookies.

There were mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini white chocolate chips, Reese's PB chips, shredded coconut, and walnut pieces.

Anything and Everything Cookies

1 cup salted butter
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup nuts, chopped
2.5 cups assorted chocolate chips/ coconut/ etc.

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.  In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat.  Stir in nuts and assorted chocolate chips.  Drop onto a parchment lined pan.  Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 F (second rack up from bottom).

Quick and easy cookies ... and now our freezer isn't so cluttered.

Do you have a freezer or pantry full of odds and ends?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Stuff

1)  Our third anniversary gift to ourselves arrived!

The traditional gift for 3rd wedding anniversaries is leather, so we got leather passport covers.

We took off on our first flight together (to Vegas) in July of 2012, and haven't stopped travelling together since. 

2)  We'll be putting these passport covers to use later this month.  The major snow storm that blew in this past week just made us eager to go on a hot holiday.  It warmed up a bit this weekend, so at least the snow should be melting soon.

3)  Last week we made a bunch of buttermilk waffles to freeze, but also had some for dinner one evening.

4)  We tried a new soup recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but unfortunately weren't overly fond of it.  It sounded promising with sausage, spinach, and sweet potato, but just lacked flavour.  We normally love everything from this blog, so this was a rare miss.

5)  Speaking of Smitten Kitchen, we made her garlic butter roasted mushrooms yesterday as a snack/ lunch, and they were really good.  Of course we were multi-tasking and forgot the final steps of adding lemon juice and parsley when they came out of the oven - darn!  Oh well, they were great anyway. 

6)  When I say we were multi-tasking, that is because we were in the process of making about six-dozen perogies.

Some were our borscht-meets-perogy invention, and others were more traditional, with cheddar, bacon, and onion (ooooh, and sauerkraut too).

7)  On Friday night we got dressed up and went out to a tasting event.

We had such a fun time!

8)  Last night we had a late dinner of salmon, couscous, and salad.

Tonight we're trying a couple new recipes, including artichoke olive crostini, and Korean-braised short ribs.

9)  For the past while we've had a folding-leg table by our kitchen window, just for an extra place to set things when hosting dinner guests, etc.  We never intended for it to be a permanent fixture, and were just waiting until we found the perfect bar cart to take it's place.  When flipping through a magazine one day, we found exactly what we wanted, and then ordered it from Birch Lane.

We love how the glass casts a pretty shadow on the wall.

10)  Well, I have to run - Christopher has these in the oven, and they are almost ready:

Breakfast time!

How has your weekend been?  
What are you making for dinner this evening?