Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lobster Pot Pies

Dinner on Sunday was pot pies.  Instead of the typical chicken pot pie, ours were filled with lobster!  Everything is better with lobster.

For an appetizer we had pre-shelled crab claws from the fresh fish market.  They just needed to be warmed (steamed) and dipped in melty butttttah.

Lobster Pot Pies
(makes 4)

1 giant or 2 small lobster tails, steamed, shelled, chopped
1-2 T cooking oil
2 carrots, sliced
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
2 leeks (white parts), sliced
3-4 potatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or other spices of choice)
fresh ground pepper
1 cup frozen peas
3 T butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup or so parsley, minced
1 sheet puff pastry

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add carrots, celery, leeks, potatoes and garlic.  Season with Old Bay and pepper.  Cook until veggies are almost softened through.  Add butter and melt.  Add flour and stir until mixed in.  Add wine and stir until mixed well.  Add peas, stock, half and half, bay leaves, parsley and lobster.  Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Pre-heat oven to 350 F. 

Spray/oil oven safe dishes and fill with the mixture.  Roll out puff pastry and cut out rounds large enough to cover the top of the dishes.  Lay the pastry on top and press around the dish.  Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet in case of spillage.  Cook for 30 minutes.

Warning:  It will be hot!  Enjoy!


Do you like pot pie?  Have you ever made pot pie?

(I had never made a pot pie before this, but it's really easy).

Asian Tossed Salad

Dole National Salad day is Wednesday, but we won't be cooking Wednesday, so we made an Asian inspired tossed salad for dinner last night.  It was probably the best salad I've ever had at home.

Asian Tossed Salad

bok Choy
heart of palms (canned)
bean sprouts
shitake mushrooms
sugar snap peas
red pepper
chicken slices (we used fake chicken) lightly browned with sesame oil and ginger
cashews, sesame seeds & chow mein noodles to sprinkle on top
sesame ginger dressing

The amounts don't matter, just make sure you have equal parts greens to other veggies.


What are your "must have" salad ingredients?

Monday, April 29, 2013


We made a tofu and shrimp kung pao last week in an effort to use up some tofu in the fridge.  Christopher's recipe is delicious as is, but we jazzed it up with a bit of seaweed.

We were up pretty early on Saturday morning (and by pretty early, I mean before 10) to run a couple of errands, but we had a nice lazy breakfast before going out.  Breakfast included: sausage, bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs and fruit.

On Saturday night we cooked up spaghetti with turkey meatballs before heading out to a housewarming/toga party.  

It was a late evening, but we still got up pretty early on Sunday to try Jack Keaton's BBQ breakfast buffet, which I unfortunately forgot to photograph.  It's a pretty decent price for a breakfast buffet, but no one was overly enthused with the food.  I'd like to give it one more try though.

How was your weekend?  Did you cook anything delicious?  
What time do you wake up on weekends?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Food Photography - Win!

Until last week I had never submitted any food photography to sites like Tastespotting or Foodgawker.  

I had read that these sites reject most photos, and I didn't want to go through the trouble.  If you have your pictures on these sites it is really good for blog traffic, however, and so I decided to send in three photos to Foodgawker.

They rejected all three.

I sent in 3 more to Foodgawker and 2 to Tastespotting, and they got rejected for reasons such as lighting or composition.  Finally I tried one more picture with Tastespotting last week and they accepted it!

See if you can spot it here.


The Grotto in Vibank

Last night we went to a restaurant that is in a small town about 40 minutes away.  I had been to The Grotto a couple times before, but each time it's a little different.  They do a Mexican dinner once a week (usually Fridays, but they did a special dinner for our large group yesterday) that is a fixed price and a fixed menu.  There is no ordering - you just get what they bring you.  The cost is $39 per person.

First up was a corn chowder.  It was piping hot and fantastic:

The main course included a pork tamale, corn on the cob, a grilled avocado with cactus salad, a chicken tostada, black re-fried beans, and chocolate/coffee braised beef.  The corn was my favourite part.

The dessert was tres leche cake:

Overall I thought the meal was really good, although I enjoyed it a bit more the last time I was there.  We're looking forward to trying their Saturday evening meat platter night.

Do you ever travel out of town just to eat and then come home?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

10 on Tuesday

1)  I was grocery shopping on Monday and came across Zevia, a zero-calorie cola that is sweetened with stevia, not aspartame.  Stevia is an all natural, non-harmful sweetener that won't increase blood sugar.  Coincidentally I checked my email today and I had received a press release regarding this new product (and a photo) to share with you all.

I haven't tried Zevia yet, and am not a huge pop fan, but I'll definitely give it a try.

2)  I find it very strange that I get sent press releases every day.  Since when am I "press"!?  Anywhoooooo.

3)  Does any one else want to try the Big Brother slop just to know what it tastes like?  I am so curious!  However, I think I would probably die of boredom and jealousy if I had to live on it for a week while watching others eat delicious food.

4)  Breakfast this morning was a kale smoothie and a toasted tomato sandwich.  Yum!

5)  It was snowing a lot this evening.  Yikes!

6)  I'm really excited to go out to The Grotto on Thursday.  It's a great restaurant in a small town about 40 minutes away.  We're going with my coworkers.

7)  My dad took me out for supper and a visit tonight.  I had a veggie burger and some fries.  I love chatting with my dad - we think a lot alike.

8)  Have you ever wondered how secure your password is?  Find out here.  Mine would take a desktop PC 377 billion years to crack.  That's probably because it has 16 completely random characters/numbers.  And I have ninja powers.

9)  I recently bought Lightroom editing software, and am slightly extremely overwhelmed just opening up the program.  Any tips?  Maybe learning Lightroom will be my summer project ...

10)  No matter how many times I hear this song, I still love it.  We had fun dancing to it in NOLA.  The DJ hadn't heard it before (the musician, Classified, is Canadian) but thanked me for requesting it because he loved it.

P.S. the DJ also told me that he went to high school with Lil Wayne and assured me that Lil Wayne "was always cool."  I didn't need to be told.  I knew it ;-)

Is it feeling like spring/summer where you live?  Any fun things lined up for the summer yet?  How secure is your password?  Any experience with Lightroom?  Is it as scary as it seems?
Did you listen to the song?  It's awesome, right?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Homemade Pizza Pops

Pizza Pops are awesome. 

I remember asking Christopher if he liked Pizza Pops, and I likely squealed in delight when his response was, "I could live on Pizza Pops."  We decided to make our own this evening (look out Pillsbury).  We whipped up four different varieties, and tried a little bit of each:

chorizo & red pepper (with mozza & cheddar)
pepperoni, bacon & mushroom (with mozza & cheddar)
three cheese (mozza, cheddar & feta)
shrimp, spinach & feta

Homemade Pizza Pops

1 ball of pizza dough (enough for a large round pizza)
1 small can of pizza sauce
cheese (about 1.5 cups shredded)
veggies of choice (about 1 cup - softened in a pan)
meat of choice (fully cooked)

Roll the dough out and cut 6-8 rounds.  Cover the rounds with a tsp or so of sauce, and then fill with toppings.  Fold over and close the dough by pinching, or pressing with a fork.  Prick the top of the pizza pop once with a fork to allow steam to escape.  Bake on a parchment lined sheet @ 400 F for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.


The pictures do not do them justice, but I wish you could see how ugly my pre-cooked pizza pops were compared to Christopher's.  He watched me fill and fold two, and then took over while we giggled at how beastly mine were.

They all tasted great though!


The pepperoni, mushroom & bacon combination was best! 

Do you like Pizza Pops?  How about Pizza Pockets?  
Other frozen pizza goodies?

Fried Chicken & Waffles

If you've never had fried chicken and waffles, you are missing out. 


We enjoyed some pretty decent fried chicken in New Orleans, but none of it compared to the chicken that Christopher's parents make.  We marinated chicken breasts overnight and then battered and fried them this morning to serve alongside waffles.  A sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of syrup, and breakfast was served.

The Best Fried Chicken
(Adapted from Paula Deen)

3 large chicken breasts (or chicken pieces) cut in half
2 eggs
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1 T water (or so)
self rising flour (a cup or two)
salt, pepper, pinch garlic powder
peanut oil for frying

Beat the eggs.  Add hot sauce and water.  Marinate the chicken in this mixture (overnight if you have the time).  Mix some self rising flour, with a pinch of garlic powder or two and a bit of salt and pepper.  Heat the peanut oil on medium.  Dip chicken into the flour mixture and fry in the oil until browned and cooked through - check with a meat thermometer.  

Do you like fried chicken?  With waffles?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Juno Weekend

The city is full of musicians this weekend because the Juno Awards (Canadian music awards) are in town!  We saw some great live music Friday and Saturday evening, including some of my favourites Def 3, and Hey Ocean.  We were hoping to see Classified, 5 Alarm Funk, and a few others but we couldn't hit them all.

Eats this weekend included ribs and sweet potato fries:


Panago Pizza:


And some of the most moist cake around (say '"most moist" three times fast) ... I encouraged Christopher to take a piece right out of the middle, because that piece is always the best ;-)

Off to eat a giant salad & watch the Juno Awards!  

How was your weekend?  
Do you have a favourite Canadian musician/band?

My favourite Canadian musician is obviously Christopher ;-)  Check out his band page here and if you like them, let 'em know on Facebook!  I also love Hey OceanCheck 'em out too!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five on Friday

 1)  Spring has not arrived.  The snow is still at least waist high in my backyard, and it's not stopping!  The one thing that I am enjoying about this "spring" is the daylight.  This entire week I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off, feeling refreshed.  I bought flowers the other day to try and bring spring inside since it doesn't want to cooperate outside. 


2)  We can't BBQ yet, but this maple glazed, pepper crusted salmon was still good done in the oven.

3)  We finally have frozen yogurt shops in the city!!  We tried Tutti Frutti, and I thought it was really good.  Next up, Menchies.


4)  I'm putting together the final draft of my thesis, so I've spent a bit of time at the university this week touching things up and grabbing one last book to reference.

5)  Dinner at Viet Thai last night, before heading next door to hear some live music:

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Best Fish Burrito

The Best Fish Burrito
(Makes 4 large fish burritos)

* It looks daunting, but it's really easy, especially when there are two people in the kitchen.  If it looks like too much work, buy your favourite guacamole & pico de gallo, and just make the white sauce and the fish batter.
- approx. 1/2 lb of cod
- large tortilla wraps
- sour cream
- shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 small cabbage)
- refried beans (canned)
- white sauce (see below)
- guacamole (see below or buy)
- pico de gallo (see below or buy)
- beer batter (see below)
- oil for frying

White Sauce:

- 1 cup mayo
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- 1 tsp capers, minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp dill

Mix all ingredients until creamy and well blended.

Pico de Gallo:

- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 T cilantro, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients.  Make ahead if you have time to let the flavours blend.


- 1 avocado
- 3 T white onion, minced
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 T cilantro, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno or more, minced
- salt to taste

Mix all together, mashing the avocado up a bit.

Beer Batter:

- 1 cup flour
- 2 T cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg (beat)
- 1 cup beer (Corona or Sol would be best)

Mix the dry ingredients.  Mix the wet ingredients.  Whisk together.


Prep the white sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole and beer batter and set aside.  Cut the fish into 2 ounce pieces and lightly flour the pieces.  Heat the oil on medium until hot.  Dip the fish in the beer batter and fry until golden, turning part way through.  When the fish is almost done you can heat the refried beans, and warm the tortillas for easier wrapping.



Top the tortilla with some sour cream, guacamole & refried beans. 

Lay 2 fish pieces on top of this (4 ounces), and then put about 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage in, some pico de gallo, and white sauce.  Fold like a burrito folding ninja.


Make these immediately.  You're welcome ;-)

Christopher enjoyed some leftovers for lunch today, and subsequently texted me to inform me that we will be eating nothing but fish burritos from now on.  He also said "end of discussion" and gave me some new names for my blog, including, but not limited to, "Everyday Burrito" and "Burrito Town."  

What he doesn't know is he's now got a problem on his hands ...  

The po boys are jealous.