Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our Weekend

This past weekend felt like the end of summer for me, as it was officially the end of my holidays.  We made the most of it!

David's Iced Tea mixes are a favourite of mine over the summer, and we made a batch up for the weekend.

We also froze chunks of watermelon to use as the ice cubes!

On Friday night we had good ol' BBQd hot dogs for dinner.

I loaded up with Cheese Whiz, sauerkraut, ketchup and mustard.

On Saturday we had a fun-filled day.  After a quick bagel breakfast, we went to the IMAX to see Great White Shark 3D, which was really interesting and entertaining.  I love the IMAX!

After the IMAX show, we shopped at the farmers' market, and then we went to our nephew's football game, and his team won!

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in the backyard, soaking up the really, really hot weather.  We BBQd skewers with chicken, onion, and mushroom, as well as halloumi cheese, zucchini, and carrot.

We slept in a bit on Sunday, and then Christopher made gorgeous breakfast skillets, but I forgot to snap a photo.  We had coffees and some cherries outside after breakfast, and spent the majority of the day outside again, finally heading in to prep dinner.

Christopher's sister gave us a bunch of produce from her gardens, including this large zucchini, which we cut into for Sunday's dinner.

We sliced rounds from it, brushed them with oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and grilled them alongside some burgers.

The zucchini rounds were a delicious side dish.  We topped the hamburgers with goat cheese, pickled beet, and arugula

Best.  Combination.  Ever!


This summery dinner was a perfect way to cap off a couple of glorious months of holidays.   

On Monday I was rejuvenated and back in the real world.

How was your weekend?  Did you BBQ at all?  
Do you ever go to the IMAX?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Seven on Sunday - Last Week's Eats

1)  Last Sunday we made fried chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and mac and cheese for dinner.

The leftovers were delicious for Monday's lunch.

Cold fried chicken in our sandwiches, yum!

2)  My mother-in-law makes a great quiche, and she sent us home with some after the breakfast potluck.  I had it on Monday morning, topped with hot sauce.

Other breakfasts last week looked like this:

3)  I love edible flowers; they have a radish-like taste.  I picked some up at the farmers' market on Wednesday, and they added a nice touch to my omelet, as well as to our dinner on Thursday evening.

Pork chop, mushroom risotto, and an Asian cucumber salad:

4)  Christopher took charge with dinner one day (bee bim bop), and I made the dessert (chocolate chip cookies):

5)  Another night we just shared a couple of snacks, including nachos, and poutine with pepper gravy.

6)  Indian buffet on Friday for lunch:

7)  We had a coconut-y day last week. 

Coconut crusted tilapia with salad:

And coconut cream pie for dessert:

I followed this recipe, and it was spot on.

Did you do any baking last week?  Have you ever had edible flowers?  Are you a coconut fan?  Do you like coconut cream pie? (this was my first time making it, but it was a hit, so I'll absolutely make it again).

Friday, August 25, 2017

Last Weekend - Breakfast Potluck

We had a pretty eventful weekend last weekend.  After getting home from Vegas on the Friday evening, and had a snacky dinner with things from the freezer.  The next morning we had waffles before heading to the grocery store and farmers' market to re-stock our empty fridge.

We ran a couple more errands, and then went home to get dressed up a bit.  That evening we went to the Supper in the Orchard.

Once home from the dinner we started making bagels, which is a crazy thing to start doing at 10:30 p.m.!  They need to rise three times (two hours, then for 30 more minutes, and then 20 more after that), and then there is all the mixing, kneading, boiling, baking ...

If was a five hour process total, so we weren't in bed until about 3:30 a.m.  Ha!  That's later than we stayed up the entire time we were in Vegas.  We had fun with it though, and had the music going, and watched Netflix shows while the bagels were rising.

After letting them cool so we could bag them, we finally got to sleep.

We were up six hours later, and getting ready to head to Christopher's parents' house for his mom's birthday celebration.  It was a family brunch potluck, and we brought the bagels and cream cheese (plain, and our homemade beet horseradish cream cheese).

We sat out on the back deck at their place, visited, and also enjoyed watching our nieces play in the bouncy house, blow bubbles, and write with sidewalk chalk.

Christopher's mom had made a couple quiches:

Other contributions to the potluck included smoked salmon, cinnamon buns, fruit, and corned beef hash - mmm!

I had a bit of everything, and a few bites of Christopher's second (and third) helping.  We took a cinnamon bun to-go.

Birthday cake for dessert:

This weekend we aren't doing too much, and plan on having a lot of relaxation time

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

An Amazing Supper in the Orchard

On Saturday evening Christopher and I drove about 20 minutes out of town to Over the Hill Orchards

This amazing place is an organic orchard and winery, and the friendly family who own and run it are growing fruits that we had no idea could be grown in Saskatchewan, including peaches, pears, cherries, and grapes among numerous other fruits and veggies. 

Throughout the summer Over the Hill Orchards does Supper in the Orchard, partnering with the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) to bring in different local chefs to create multi-course meals, using mostly ingredients from local farms and the orchard.  I received a gift card a couple of months ago to try Supper in the Orchard, and once we saw that Chris Torjuson was the guest chef on Saturday, we made reservations for that night.  He has been the chef at many of our favourite restaurants in town over the years (currently at Malt City), and we were excited to see what he would prepare.


The majority of proceeds from these evenings go back to the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC), which helps send junior members for training across North America.  The suppers seat up to 32 people, so they are intimate, and the chef comes out to talk to the diners about what they will be eating.

When you arrive at the orchard, there is a beautiful patio to sit on and admire the scenery, and enjoy a beverage.  The many wine selections are all made at the orchard, as is the non-alcoholic beverage option.

At 6:30 the guests move indoors into the dining space, which is very lovely.

There was a nice floral touch to our water, and the service was excellent.

The multi-course meal is $65 dollars per person, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25 each.  Beverages may also be purchased by the glass, and we opted for that route instead of the wine pairing.

The first course was grilled baby cabbage with balsamic Brussels, zucchini, mixed greens, Italian vin, house-made ricotta, and soppressata (an Italian dried salami that was also made and fermented by the chef).

This salad was so good, and a delightful start to the meal.

Next up was dijon gnocchi with pepperonata, and sweet corn puree.

The sweet corn puree was so flavourful, and was our favourite part of this tasty dish.  All of the food at the Orchard is gluten-free and nut-free, so this is a perfect night of dining for those who have nut and gluten dietary restrictions

Making gluten-free gnocchi is no easy feat, but chef Chris pulled it off flawlessly; the little dumplings were soft and fluffy.

Before the third course Dean, who owns the orchard with this wife Sylvia, gave us a small tour of the fruit and veggie growing operation they've got going on out there, and we were completely blown away by it - so, so impressive!  Dean was also quite funny, and extremely informative, which made the tour so interesting.  We only looked around for about 15 minutes before we went back to try the third course.  As we were heading back inside, the view of the sun going down over the valley was spectacular. 

Next up was sous vide grilled pork tenderloin, with duck fat veggies, pickled shaved carrot, pancetta, and red wine pork sauce.

All of the elements in this dish paired so well together, and the pork was extremely tender and juicy.  The sauce was superb.

The final course was apricot wine zabiaone with grilled peach, apricot gel, and dark chocolate milk crumb.

Now I am not usually a dessert person, but I ate every single bite of this, and could have gone for more.  It wasn't overly sweet, and the chocolate crumb was such a nice texture contrast to the creamy zabiaone (which I am totally going to learn how to make).

In fact, I ate every bite of every dish, which usually isn't the case when we go out for dinner.  Everything tasted so fresh, healthy, and masterfully created.  I think we were both expecting this dining experience to be good, but we had no idea it was going to be as wonderful as it was.  We're already talking about going back ... sooner rather than later.

The sun was almost completely set as we were leaving to head home.

And on the way home we couldn't stop talking about the supper and the orchard, and all the people we know who would love it.

If you're local, there is still time to book your Supper in the Orchard before the season is over.  Click here to see which nights have openings, and which chef will be cooking on those evenings.

You can find Over the Hill Orchards on Facebook, Twitter, on Instagram @overthehillorchards or on their website

I hope you make it out there to try this unique and memorable dining experience; I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as we were.

Have you been to Over the Hill Orchards?  If you're not from around here, do you have something like this where you live?  Do you try to support local farms and other local businesses?