Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Foods to Travel For

Most of my readers come from the United States, where the following foods/drinks are probably much more readily available than they are in Saskatchewan, Canada.  

I love to travel.  I also love to eat.  We're headed to the United States in March, and there are a few foods I'm excited to try, and some that I plan to smuggle back home in my suitcase.

Papa John's Pizza

I'm looking forward to trying this pizza as it comes highly recommended by someone awesome.  Have you had Papa Johns?  What do you order?


This stuff is not available in Canada, yet I've seen it called for in many recipes. 

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the new Pinwheel Shape!

Why don't we have this!?  I need.  Everyone loves pinwheel shaped noooooodles.


I tried Pinkberry for the first time in New York a few years ago, and had to get it each time I was back in New York.  Fro Yo is not a big thing in my city, and I don't think there are any Pinkberry stores in Canada.

Fried Chicken

You can't get real, true, just-like-my-southern-momma-used-to-make, fried chicken here.  Not even close.  Does KFC count?  I'm so excited to try some good fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans this Spring.  I'm also excited to try grits and okra for the first time!

Cheap Food/Drinks

Beverages and food in general seem to be much cheaper in the United States than in Canada - even at Whole Foods.  Speaking of Whole Foods, I always find a bunch of new foods there that I like to bring home with me.

Cherry Coke

This one's for the boy ;-)  We can't buy Cherry Coke here.  (*As an aside - our Mountain Dew in Canada is caffeine free).

What food can you not get where you live but you miss or want to try?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1)  Last week I tried zucchini on a pizza for the first time.  It was pretty darn good!  We also threw some onion, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, bacon, chicken and cheese on there. 


2)  On Friday I went with some work pals for lunch to Bocados.  There were many things on the menu that sounded good to me, but I went with the pulled pork sandwich.  It was messy, but delicious.  I couldn't finish it all, but I definitely tried.

3)  On Sunday I went on a little road trip to see two of my favourite local bands audition for a place at the Ness Creek music festival.  I had a great time at the festival last year, and am looking forward to it again this July.  We're thinking of jetting off to Vegas again after the festival ... because ... well why the heck not!?

The Fortunate Isles
The Screaming Daisies
4)  After the audition, before heading home, we stopped at Fuddruckers for burgers.  I got the 1/3 pound bison burger, and we shared some frings (fries/rings).

5)  This evening we went for dinner to Siam (an authentic Thai restaurant downtown).  I was a little disappointed as the food wasn't as good as it has been in the past, and the service was awkward and annoying (you had to be there).  I have had some amazing meals there, so I'll definitely go back and give it another shot, all the while crossing my fingers that we get a good server.

6)  There are two types of people in this world ...

Those that like cilantro:

Christopher's plate with cilantro as a garnish
And those that do this:

Jolene's plate with leftover Indian food as a garnish
7)  We made so much Indian food on Saturday that we had enough for dinner again last night, and I took some for lunch today

8)  This evening we went to Laser Quest (laser tag) for a friend's birthday.  Awesome.

9)  I'm not sad that January is coming to an end.  It is probably my least favourite month.  We have a pretty fun-filled couple of months ahead, and I'm pumped!!  Goodbye January, bring on February!

10)  We are thinking of cooking up some Chinese food this weekend.  Probably.  Maybe.  Stay tuned.

How's your week going so far? 
What are your Tuesday things?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Indian Feast

On Saturday evening we ventured to cook a bunch of Indian food, none of which we had cooked before.  We made dhingri dulma (mushroom, bell pepper & paneer curry), konju masala (shrimp curry), chana masala (chickpea curry), basmati rice and homemade naan.  

Everything turned out really well, especially the naan and shrimp curry.  We grooved to Bollywood hits while enjoying this delicious meal.  Haha - it was fun ;-)


Homemade Garlic Naan - Easy!!
(Adapted from: Naan)

3 cups bread flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 T olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm milk (more if needed)
Approx. 1 T melted butter 
Garlic powder

Sift the flour and add dry ingredients.  Add the oil and milk, and more milk if too dry.  Knead for 10 minutes (I used KitchenAid attachment).  Roll out into 8 ovals, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Broil on high for 2 minutes - watch closely!  Put the racks a couple places down from the top in the oven.  Don't flip.  Remove and enjoy.

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?  Have you ever cooked Indian food?

Poaching an Egg

I love poached eggs.  I'll often order them at restaurants, but have never attempted to make them at home.  This weekend Christopher and I poached eggs for the first time.

We consulted my good friend Betty Crocker for the basics.  She recommended bringing water to a boil in a large pot (so the eggs won't touch), then reducing it to a simmer and carefully sliding the eggs into the water one by one.  I put the eggs each in their own ramekin, so they could be lowered down to the waters edge and slid in individually.  Since Christopher is the braver of the two of us, he did the sliding of the eggs aka the hard part.  

We let them simmer for about four minutes, which gave us a medium soft yolk.  We're thinking next time we'll do three minutes.

With the eggs we had toast for dipping, and bacon, of course!

We also enjoyed vanilla yogurt with a lot of toppings:  hemp granola, chia seeds, bee pollen, maple flakes, flax seeds, and a bit of fruit.  Mmmm, this was a great breakfast.

A lot more fun and deliciousness was had this weekend - stay tuned!

Have you ever poached an egg?  How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

- Tonight I made stuffed pasta shells (hot Italian sausage, ricotta, parsley, Parmesan, bell pepper, onion, garlic, topped with tomato sauce).  I served them with a salad (kale, spinach, radish, red onion, sprouts, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro).  Christopher got to experience how much I love cilantro - and I held back on this salad!

- I love this girl.  I am convinced we are supposed to be BFFs.  It doesn't matter that we've never met.
- We've been watching the 1977 TV Mini-Series, Roots.  Christopher told me I had to see it, and he was right.  If you haven't seen it, I say it's a must watch.  We have one episode left - the finale, which still holds the record for 3rd highest rated US television program ever.

- I'm not a huge fan of Taylor Swift, but I sure love her newer song Trouble.  Catchy! 

- You better believe I'll be making these, these, and these.  Hopefully sooner than later.

- I'm looking forward to a low-key weekend with a mini road trip
What are you up to this weekend?  Have you seen "Roots"? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


A couple of months ago we made a whole bunch of perogies.  There were still some in the freezer that we decided to cook up tonight.  Christopher and I both have some Ukrainian in us, so a love for perogies is in our blood.  

We fried them up and then jazzed them up with bacon, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream and chives.


I know someone who puts jam on his perogies!?  (Hey Justin!)  I've never tried it, but perhaps it's good.

What do you put on your perogies?
Please tell me you've eaten perogies before!
What is your nationality?  What's your favourite food from your nationality?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

11 Things

There is a meme going around the blogging community, and my pal Jennifer tagged me.

The rules are that I am to write 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions.  I must then nominate people to answer 11 questions that I come up with.

11 Random Facts about Me:

1)  Black coffee makes me happy.
2)  For about a year (I think in grade 4) I used to have a habit of tapping my teeth together on one side and then the other, usually in patterns.  I couldn't stop doing it.  It was like a nail biting habit, but with my teeth.
3)  I am very easily distracted. 
4)  I bought a VCR this year.  Yes, in 2013.
5)  I don't like to borrow things.
6)  I am very ticklish.
7)  I had a lot of pets growing up, but probably won't have one as an adult.
8)  The thought of brushing one's teeth with hot water makes me gag.
9)  My favourite colour is black.  
10)  I love wall-climbing, but haven't done it in ages.
11)  I get called strange at least once a week, but usually once a day.

Jennifer's 11 Questions for Me:

1.  What is one thing that you want to do but haven't done yet for whatever reason?
Get a PhD.
2.  What worries you?
I don't worry so much anymore.  If I can't control it, no point in worrying about it.
3.  What is one thing you would change about yourself/life?
I've thoughtfully, and purposefully created the life I want.  I wouldn't change a thing. 
4.  If you could travel anywhere where would you go and why?
Korea or Japan probably, because I've never been to Asia, and I'd like to experience a culture that is very different from my own.

5.  What is one thing you'd like to be remember for?
Putting a smile on others' faces.
6.  What was your original motivation for starting a blog?  Is it still the same now?
To have a hobby.  Yes, it's still the same.
7.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Happy and healthy, with my sweetheart.  Not changing diapers, I'll tell you that much!
8.  Who was the last person that made you cry? Why?
It wasn't a person, it was an onion.  It was pretty bad.
9.  Why are you happy?
Simple.  I long for nothing, and love what I have. 
10.  What is your favourite thing to do when you are alone?
Cook, read, dance around the house, try on clothes, lol.
11.  What is one thing you'd like to learn?
How to speak Spanish or Japanese.

I have some questions for my readers, but first ... the food.

Yesterday was a freezing cold day.  We made the perfect, comforting dinner, chicken soup

On the side, mini pitas stuffed with chicken, jalapenos, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and spinach.


Tonight we went out to EarlsMartinis to drink ...

Fish tacos for an appetizer to share ...

Quesadilla and salad for my entree ...

Now, I will pass on the following questions to YOU, my lovely readers.  You can answer if you want, either in the comments, or on your blog:

1)  How often do you go to the hair salon? 
2)  What is your favourite herb/spice?
3)  Thoughts on cosmetic surgery?
4)  Favourite kind of tea?
5)  What skill do you wish you had?
6)  Who makes you laugh the most?
7)  Do you have tattoos?  Where?  What?
8)  What fast food restaurant is your favourite?
9)  What 3 items are always in your freezer?
10)  What do you put on your toast usually?
11)  What are you most proud of?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Post Apocalyptic Pot-Luck

Last night we went to a Post-Apocalyptic themed pot-luck dinner.  The drinks and food were supposed to fit the theme.  We brought mini stuffed pitas, which we called Charred Corpse Pitas (the charred corpse was crisp bacon).  They were a hit!  Another appetizer that was a bit hit were the Ritz cracker, macaroni, bacon topped cupcake looking things.  Ahhh yeah!

I think I had three.

I also really liked the death toll casserole.

Everything was so good - we were stuffed and happy after this meal.

Even our drinks fit the theme ...

The best part about this party (aside from the eats) was that many of the guests were musicians, and very talented ones at that.  I spent the remainder of the evening grooving to the bluegrass etc. that Christopher and his pals were playing.  Definitely the highlight of my weekend.

How was your weekend?
Do you like pot-luck dinners?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Potato. Yo.

A few months ago we took a little trip out to Moose Jaw, mostly to visit the olive oil/balsamic vinegar store/tasting room, Oliv.  We bought some of the zesty onion, extra virgin olive oil.

Tonight we used this to make some of the delicious potatoes that I've gotten to enjoy a few times at Christopher's parents' house.  

We threw some quartered potatoes in a oven-safe dish, and filled it with oil about half way up the potatoes.  It went in to a 400 F oven for about 45 minutes, and we turned them every 15 minutes or so.  These basically taste like French fries, and are great with ketchup, or just straight up. 

We had herb crusted chicken breasts, and salad too.


We'll definitely be picking up more oils from Oliv next time we are in MJ - the potatoes were fantastic.  

I got a coconut balsamic vinegar in New York in April, but still haven't used much of it.  We'll have to come up with something to do with that next!

Have you ever tried a flavoured olive oil?  Flavoured balsamic?  
What is your favourite way to enjoy potatoes?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I ate Wednesday

It had been a while since I had a green monster for breakfast.  This morning I blended one up with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, banana, spinach and almond butter.  Mmmmm!

Lunch was some of the spaghetti and meat sauce that I made yesterday.

This evening I met up with my sister for dinner at Orange.

We shared some adegashi tofu, and each ordered the bulgogi sandwich.  


We both left some sandwich and fries on our plate - the serving was huge!

There is a Bernard Callebaut chocolate shop in the same strip mall as the restaurant, so I had to buy a few chocolates.  I picked out 2 of my favourites, and 2 new ones.  

My all-time favourite is the strawberry one, which is bizarre, because I normally hate fruit filled things.  

This chocolate is different.  It is crisp on the outside, but smooth on the inside.  The filling is mild and fresh.  It is hard to describe the taste - you just have to try it!

I also love "The Bernard"

Simple is good.

I'm thinking I'll have a grapefruit before bed ...

What did you eat today?  What is your favourite chocolate?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1)  Is it just me or does this season of The Bachelor have the most beautiful bunch of girls ever? 

2)  I can't get enough bee bim bop.  We had it again last night.

3)  I recently came across this method for cooking bacon that I'm going to have to try.  I always cook bacon in the oven, but this page has some tips/tricks to cook it even better.  Mmmm, meat candy!

4)  I got an email from a publicist at AccessRX today informing me that I have been chosen to be included in their list of Top Weight Loss Bloggers of 2012.   

I didn't know I had a weight loss blog ... haha, but I'm still flattered to be included. 

If you want to lose weight, don't make these or these, and don't even look at this post.  Kidding.  I have never tried to lose weight, but I've read a lot of nutrition books, and I've successfully maintained a healthy weight throughout my life.  These are my tips:

- Don't classify foods as good or bad.  Eat everything in moderation.  Variety is good.  If you start telling yourself you can't have certain foods you will instantly crave those foods.
- Add the following to your life:  more water, more veggies, more whole grains, exercise, happiness.

5)  Shameless and Californication are back!!! 

6)  I made a giant batch of spaghetti and meat sauce tonight.  I had some for dinner, and now I have lunch for the next couple of days.


7)  It was about -30 last night, and today it was raining!?  What the heck is up with Saskatchewan! 

8)  Here is a list of 25 Little Things that Give us Big Smiles.  #25 makes me really happy. 

9)  Has anyone ever made their own naan bread?  We're thinking of trying it out one of these days.  Anyone have an easy, delicious naan recipe?

10)  I got a refresher in how to play Chess the other night.  It's tough as a beginner, and for someone who is not a visual learner!  I definitely need practice to get the hang of it.  Are you good at Chess?

How is your week going so far?  
What are some of your Tuesday things?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Party of Two

What a night we had last night! 

We cooked dinner on the raclette grill around 9:00 p.m..


Endive leaves with bean paste, beef, rice, veggies, and kimchi.


Bruschetta and cheesy bread.


Dinner was followed by a couple of rousing games of Scrabble, laughter and good conversation.


Before we knew it, it was 5:00 a.m..  
Ooops - haha, time flies when you're busy being awesome.

Have you ever had endive?  (last night was my first time).  
Do you like Scrabble?