Sunday, January 30, 2011

2 Nights, 2 Dinners

On Friday evening we went to the hubby's aunt's house for a family dinner.  As usual, the spread was incredible.  She always has a cheese plate on the table, and garlic stuffed olives.


The meal included a spicy lasagna, Caesar salad, chicken wings, garlic bread and veggies.

We barely had room for dessert, but I was able to enjoy a couple bites of cake, some berries, and a cheesecake filled chocolate.

On Friday night I refined my menu for the dinner party I planned for Saturday.  I went with an Italian theme for this party.  I like to do themed dinner parties because I need parameters.  With all the possibilities of flavours and foods, an indecisive foodie like me cannot narrow things down without placing limitations on a dinner.  By choosing an Italian theme, I could ignore the French Onion soup recipes I have been dying to try, and the Saag Paneer the hubby has been craving and just focus in on one type of cuisine.  

I spent Saturday afternoon shopping for food, cooking, baking and prepping.


We started the evening off toasting with Prosecco as an aperitif.  We then enjoyed antipasto.

This baked Fontina dip was a big hit.

Next we ate Margherita pizza.


After the pizza we made our way to the table where we enjoyed polpettes.  They are essentially giant meatballs with tomato, mozza, and roasted red pepper.

The polpettes were followed by Italian Wedding soup and Focaccia bread with oil and vinegar.  I realized this morning that I forgot to put the spinach in the soup!  It was still great though.  

The main course was lasagna.  I went to take the lasagna out of the oven at approx. 9:30 and asked the hubby, "Why is the oven off??!!!?"  We had the lasagna in there "cooking" for an hour with no heat :-)  Ahhhh, mishaps in the kitchen.

Needless to say we ate lasagna at around 10:30 instead.  It turned out alright because we were able to let some of the other food digest so we would have room for the lasagna.  We had some limoncello while we waited.

The desserts included tirimisu, and pochettes.

Overall it was a wonderful evening with some pretty awesome friends.

If I was having you over for a dinner party, what would you want the theme to be? 
Be creative!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Exciting News!!!!!

The hubby and I booked our next vacation!!!   
We are going back to NY for a week over Easter.

We had the most amazing trip last year, and we are both so excited to head back to THE city.

Have you been to New York?  If so, what is your favourite restaurant or foodie destination there?

The kind and generous people over at CSN Stores have given me the opportunity to do a product review for them this month.  As most of you know, CSN Stores have over 200 online stores that sell furniture, tools, cooking gadgets, luggage, and so much more.  I rotate doing either a giveaway or a product review each month, and this month is the review.  I usually choose something kitcheny, and I still might, but I could use a new laptop messenger bag for this trip. Last year I lugged mine through the airport and got major shoulder burn.  I need something with padding!

Yesterday I made Averie's Banana Oat Cake.  It was super easy to make, and tasted great (it included: 1/2 mashed banana, 3 T oats, 1 T brown sugar, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cocoa).  You can find the recipe here. I smeared some PB on top. I also had some yogurt with blackberries to round out my breakfast.


I had the another banana oat cake for breakfast this morning.  This time I tried it without the cocoa
It was just as good.  

It tastes like a cookie, but really it is a healthy breakfast!

I had leftover peanut stew for lunch yesterday, and remembered to add the cilantro.  
I went to town with it.

Dinner last night was a tuna sandwich melt with tuna, olive oil, red onion, mozzarella cheese, pickles, Dijon mustard and mayo.  I had 1 1/2 with an orange later in the evening for dessert.


I was out running errands tonight, and came across some smokey paprika that I have been looking for ...

And it just happened to match a pretty bag that I saw, so I just had to get that too.  You know, because your accessories just have to match your spices ...

That's what I told the hubby anyway.

Excuse me, I am off to find some nutmeg coloured shoes, and a cumin dress.
What items do you have trouble resisting when shopping?

I am a sucker for bags, shoes (especially in the summer) and dishes.

Okay ... no more shopping until NY and I meet again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

7 Random Facts & Reader Survey


hanks to Joanne over at MostlyFitMom for giving me this award:

In order to accept the blogger award I must tell you 7 random facts about myself, and then pass the award on to some new wonderful bloggers.

7 Random Facts 

1) I hate cold pizza.  It is nasty.

2) I like rap music.

3) I have never broken a bone, and neither has anyone in my family.

4) My favourite fruit juice is pink grapefruit/ ruby red.

5) I love chipped black nail polish.

6) I hate wearing all jewelry except rings (I also hate wearing watches and sunglasses).

7) I always have the best sleeps when I sleep outside in a tent.

I haven't had a chance recently to scope out many new blogs, but I do have a friend who is relatively new to the blogging world - Vanessa from AllTheThingsSheSays.  I would like to pass the award on to her!

Breakfast today was an old favourite, egg in a hole:

Lunch was leftover Caribbean rice from yesterday and yogurt with PB.

For dinner I made African Chicken Peanut Stew.  I prepared it yesterday and then just warmed it on the stove today.  It is full of sweet potatoes, chicken, peanut butter, and other wonderful things.

I didn't realize until I was done eating that I forgot to sprinkle the cilantro on top!!  The horror!!

I will have to remember the cilantro when I eat the leftovers.

Reader Survey

I would love to get to know my readers better!  
If you want, leave me a comment telling me:

Your name
Where you are from
A random fact about you

Monday, January 24, 2011

National Peanut Butter Day (USA)


 have been informed that today is national peanut butter day in the US.  I am Canadian, but I am totally up for participating in any national food day.

Now, here is the totally bizarre part ...

I didn't find out it was National PB day until I had already had PB in my breakfast, lunch and dinner, and had planned and started prepping tomorrows dinner which also includes PB!  No joke.

Breakfast was maple mocha oats (1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup coffee, 1/2 cup chocolate Almond Breeze, 1 tsp maple flakes, 1 tsp maple PB):

Lunch was Italian Wedding soup, and some vanilla yogurt with peanut butter mixed in.

This evening I made Caribbean Coconut Rice with Garbanzos and Veggies.  I made this once earlier this month, and I got the recipe from Averie's blog.

It is such a good dish, and one of the ingredients is peanut butter.

While dinner was cooking I started reading some blogs and found out on Kat's blog that it was National PB day.  I had to have an apple with PB for dessert :-)

After dinner I whipped up dinner for tomorrow, which you will have to wait to see
(but it also includes PB).

So now there is only one logical question to be asked ...

Chunky or Smooth?

I pick smooth.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Using up Spinach ...

I am hooked on Green Monsters ...

Guess that's not the worst thing in the world!  

I had one for breakfast on Friday, and then went out for lunch and had 1/3 of an order of Pad Thai.  The hubby and I had the other 2/3 for dinner with some pepper crusted salmon.

On Friday night we went to "No Strings Attached".  It was not great, but not terrible.  We split a blackberry banana fro-yo for dessert.

On Saturday the hubby and I got up early so we could head out of town to visit my mom a couple hours away.  I had scrambled eggs and a glo bar for breakfast, and a small turkey sub loaded with veggies for lunch.  We came home Saturday evening and went for our friend Maja's birthday.  We had sushi and then sang some karaoke.

Another friend, Pedro, made this amazing German chocolate cake:

I ate about half of this piece:


This morning I enjoyed 2 whole wheat pancakes with bananas, and blackberry syrup (2 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 cup blackberries):

I had a veggie and protein loaded stir-fry for lunch (with 1/2 cup rice) with the hubby and my best bud.  I then spent the afternoon doing homework - yuck.

This evening I realized I had a bunch of spinach to use up before Tuesday.  I decided to make this soup, that uses 1 whole bag of spinach (along with 1 can of tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth, 6 or so cloves of garlic, and about 1 cup of tortellini).  It made enough for the hubby and I to have it for supper tonight, and for one of us to have a large portion of it tomorrow for lunch. 

I always find that I throw spinach out, so I have to remember to make this soup instead.

What food item gets thrown out the most at your house (because it goes bad/expires before it gets eaten)?  How do you prevent food waste?