Friday, July 28, 2017

Picnic with Sabra Hummus

July is National Picnic Month, and since it's been so beautiful, and there has been a lack of mosquitoes, we thought it would be fun to head out to the park for an evening picnic.  We found a perfect spot just a few minutes walk from the house:

Our picnic dinner featured Sabra's Roasted Garlic Hummus.

We are huge garlic fans, so we love the big pile of garlic in the middle.  We also love that the ingredient list is very simple.  We used this hummus as the spread for our veggie sandwiches.

We tossed the hummus into the basket to use as a dip for our farmers' market veggies.

An easy picnic dinner:

We also tried Sabra's Supremely Spicy Hummus this week.

We were BBQing burgers, and used this hummus as a creamy, flavorful burger topping.

It has a mayo-like creaminess with a spicy kick.

For more information about Sabra, go to, visit @sabracanada on Twitter or Instagram, or check them out on Facebook.

Have you had a picnic yet this summer?  What do you like to pack in your picnic basket?  Do you like hummus? 

 * The Sabra products were provided to me free of charge.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Breakfast, Pesto, Pavlova etc.

Morning!  All of July I've been getting up at 7:00 a.m., and  I usually start making breakfast at 7:30.

A 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt with toppings, and one piece of rye toast with almond butter, cacao, and coconut, is perfect for fueling my daily walk around the lake.

Or just a yogurt bowl:

Or the oatmeal that I had today:


While walking this month I've listened to my first podcasts ever!  I'm still not really familiar with podcasts, so I've just been jumping around a bit trying to find something that I like, but they definitely make an hour walk go by fast!  I've been searching on YouTube for them. 

Other eats in the past few days have included chicken with a jalapeno cream sauce, and a grilled potato/ zucchini/ mushroom mixture.

Also salmon with a cilantro sauce, and couscous.

I made this nut-free cilantro pesto (I am allergic to pine nuts), and thought it was super bland.  I don't think it's the recipe, rather I just don't think I am a pesto fan.  In general pesto tastes like gritty oil to me (or oily herbs), and I've never had a pesto that had enough flavour for me.  After tasting the pesto a few times, I knew exactly what it needed - vinegar.  I dashed in some white vinegar and a bit of salt, tasted it, and then put in a bit more vinegar and blended it again.  It was perfect.  I suppose it's no longer pesto with the addition of vinegar ... anyway, it was delicious.

With this sauce we ate 1.5 bunches of cilantro in one sitting! (All the cilantro haters are totally cringing at that - haha!)

On Tuesday I made a pavlova for the first time.  I followed this recipe for the pavlova itself, but not for the toppings, as I figured the pavlova was sweet enough and the cream and berries didn't need to be messed with.

Before going into the oven:


I topped it with unsweetened whipped cream, fresh fruit and chocolate shavings:

Yum!  Pavlova is a beautiful, light dessert.

Christopher made short work of this; there is only once slice left!

Have you ever had pavlova?  Have you made it?  Do you like pesto?  

Also, if you have any recommendations for podcasts you think I might like, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Easy Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

Last week I made an easy slow-cooker butter chicken.  The flavours are mild, so it would be good for someone who is just getting into Indian food.  It's not the most authentic, elaborate Indian food we've ever made, but it's quick to throw together and fool-proof, and we'll definitely make it again if we need something that's no-fuss

You start by throwing 3 T of flour, 1 T of garam masala, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp curry powder into a slow cooker:

Then add 3 lbs of chicken thighs (quartered) and toss to coat:

Add 1/2 cup of ground cashews:

Then add 1 small chopped onion, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno (I used a red one), and chopped ginger (I used 3-4 T).

Next add 2 seeded and chopped tomatoes:

2 T of tomato paste:

And 3/4 cup of cream:

I seasoned it a bit with salt and pepper before cooking, but added more later on.  The recipe says to cook it on low for 4 hours, although I turned it up to high for a while, and also probably cooked it for 4.5 hours total. 

A bit more salt and pepper to taste (salt makes a big difference - don't skip it).  Once it was done I stirred in 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt:

We garnished it with cilantro and served it over basmati rice:

The best thing about this recipe is that you don't have to pre-cook anything; you just throw it all into the slow cooker, and ta-da, it's done!

As I mentioned before, this is a very mild curry/butter chicken.  We're usually fans of much stronger flavours, so we'll likely tweak the recipe a bit the next time we make it.  That being said, it's definitely good, and was even better the next day.

You can find the recipe here on the Food Network site.

Do you use a slow-cooker?  Have you ever made butter chicken or a curry in it?  What have you been cooking lately?

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Rest of my Monday

My morning was wonderful, and the rest of my day was just as good.  I spent some time reading in the backyard:

Sipping on this iced tea that I made:

I whipped up some bread dough, and worked my muscles kneading it for a long 10 minutes.

Focaccia bread ready for the oven:

And done!

Once Christopher was home from work we spent time visiting in the yard before getting started on dinner.  We made a baked scallop dish with white wine, garlic, panko crumbs and lemon juice.

We cut into the fresh-baked focaccia to enjoy with the scallops, and to soak up some of the sauce.

A simple green salad on the side completed the meal:

For dessert we cut into the easy frozen cheesecake that I made this morning.

A little trash TV to end the evening off, and I have to say that today was a pretty nice start to the week.  We are looking forward to trying new recipes, having a picnic, having guests over, and attending two nieces' birthday parties this week!

How was your Monday?  What are you looking forward to this week?