Friday, March 30, 2018

Hoppy Easter!

As of yesterday evening, Christopher and I are officially on holidays, and we're pretty excited to relax during our time off.  We were up pretty early this morning, so we had a little "snack breakfast" to hold us over until brunch at Christopher's parents' house.

One piece of French toast, made with cinnamon raisin bread, and a bit of dragon fruit did the trick.

Around 11:00 we headed over to the parents' place for a family Easter brunch.  My mother-in-law prepared a beautiful spread including two kinds of quiche, bacon, deviled eggs, croissants, cheesy potatoes, and fruit.

There were chocolates too!  And pumpkin pie for dessert.

We had a lovely morning eating this spread, visiting, and watching the nieces play.  They are so stinkin' adorable!

By mid-afternoon we were home and getting stuff done around the house.

Wishing you all a peaceful, beautiful Easter 💙💜

How are you spending the long weekend?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Early Easter Dinner

We won't be around for Easter, so this past weekend we had an early Easter dinner.  We roasted a smoked pork shoulder, which is my favourite type of "ham" to make. Traditional hams are from the hind leg of the pig, and shoulders - well they're from the front, and are better and far more flavourful, in my opinion.

We buy the Olymel brand, which has a nice thick layer of fat on the top.  If you cook it fat-side up, the meat is absolutely succulent.

I believe that hams should be flavoured more on the spicy/sweet side, rather than savoury (I would never season a ham with garlic or onion).  I poured apple juice in the bottom of the roaster, and stuck cloves in the scored fat, which later pulled apart and then came off easily.

We served it with scalloped potatoes from the Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers cookbook, peas, and the all-time best mustard sauce to dip the pork in.  I love this dip so much, and couldn't imagine eating ham without it.  It's foolproof, and addictive.

Best Mustard Dip for Ham

2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/3 cup white vinegar

Bring to a boil.  Cool.  Dip ham in it.  You're welcome.

There was another March snow storm this past weekend, and it's looking pretty cold for the next few days.  I'm hoping Easter will bring Spring along with it, as we're very ready for planting flowers, and some backyard time.

How is your week going?  Are you having an Easter dinner this coming weekend?  Do you usually have turkey or ham at Easter?  Something different?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers

When I think of Sunday supper, I think of home, comfort, and sitting at the table with family.  I think of warmth, inviting aromas, and dishes made with so much love.

Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers is a cookbook full of traditional Sunday supper recipes, such as classic roast chicken, pot roast, and meat loaf, as well as dishes that could potentially become new Sunday favourites, such as grilled steak bibimbap, beet risotto, and roasted squash coconut curry.

It's an all-purpose cookbook, great for a beginner cook, but also intriguing enough for someone who is experienced in the kitchen.  We wanted to get a feel for the recipes, so we made five of them over the past week (we found them all quick and easy enough to make during the week, so they are not just for Sundays).

The beef and Guinness pie that we made on Sunday was from this book:

It was really good, and even better the next day.  Also, the pie crust was delicious; I'm looking forward to trying it out with a sweet pie.

The next recipe we tried was the kale Caesar salad.  We liked that we had all the ingredients for the dressing on hand.  We topped it with roasted chicken to make it a meal.

On Thursday evening we made two recipes from Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers, including Corn Flake-crusted pork chops, and sticky carrots.

We served the pork and carrots with a side of mac and cheese.

Tonight we made Best of Bridge's classic scalloped potatoes:

These were a perfect side with smoked pork shoulder.

All the recipes in this book are clearly laid out, easy to follow, simple and fool-proof.  I also like that the book is coil-bound and can lay flat.

You can buy this cookbook here (in Canada), or here (in USA), or wherever else you like to buy books.  All of the recipes we made, we'd make again, and we've already tabbed a bunch more that we are definitely wanting to try within the next few weeks.

What have you been cooking lately?
How was your week?  How is your weekend going?
What will you be making for Sunday supper?

This review copy was provided to me free of charge from Robert Rose.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Guinness in Dinner and Dessert!

On Sunday, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, we made a couple of recipes featuring Guinness.  Dinner was a beef and Guinness pot pie.

This recipe was from the Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers cookbook.  I recently got a review copy of this book, and we've been making a bunch of recipes from it.  Stay tuned for a review.

For dessert I whipped up a batch of Guinness brownies, which I'll definitely make again.  They were dense, moist, and the icing was perfect.

We like minimal icing, so I halved that part of the recipe.

This didn't last too long in our house.  I am craving one right now - mmm!  Reduced Guinness goes into both the brownie batter and the icing, and it adds a caramelly deliciousness to them.

Did you have any Irish eats on St. Patrick's Day?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Getting Together with Friends

Recently we met up with pals for a wing night at Industrial Park Cafe.  This is a great little dive with wing night on Wednesdays and all-you-can-eat tacos on Fridays.

Christopher and I shared a couple pounds of wings, as well as some fries, which were really good.  It's not too often that we go out for food like this, so it was a nice treat.

On Saturday evening Christopher's brother and his wife had us over for dinner.  Our little niece was absolutely adorable, and quite entertaining throughout the evening.  When we first arrived we snacked on some cheese, meat, and crackers:

Mel and Steve ordered from Thai Basil, one of our favourite places in town.

My yummy plate:

The salted crispy chicken from this restaurant is on my must-order list if you're local and are interested in trying Thai Basil.

We had a nice evening visiting, getting some hugs from the niece, and sharing laughs and a meal with Mel and Steve.  We were home by 10:00 p.m., but then went back out as a bunch of our friends were doing karaoke at a place about two minutes from our house. 

After five hours of singing and visiting we were back home to get to bed.  I can't remember the last time we were out that late, but we had a lot of fun!  Of course, being old now, we were awake by 7:30 on Sunday morning - ha!  We really can't sleep in anymore.  We tried to sleep a bit more, but it was clear that it wasn't going to happen, so we got up and got breakfast going.

Blurry pico de gallo omelette
The rest of the day was spent lounging around, and making Irish food in the spirit of St. Patrick's day (one day late).  More on that in the next post!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Do you find it more difficult to sleep in the older you get?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thoughts on a Saturday

So, I got a food processor about seven years ago and put it under the stairs for a bit until I was going to use it, and then sort of forgot about it ...

Oops!  I busted it out of it's hiding place last weekend, and am super impressed with how easy it was to put together, how little space it takes up, and how efficiently it works; it's really slick!

I used it to make an artichoke dip/spread:

And also to make the braising mixture for Korean short ribs:

The carrot and daikon were delicious with the ribs.  We had rice and kimchi on the side.

I drank a few green smoothies for breakfasts this week.  They had milk, a banana, frozen mango, spinach, and a drizzle of vanilla - perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Other eats over the week included a plate of our homemade beet perogies, topped with sour cream, green onion, and sriracha:

And an easy beef stroganoff served over egg noodles:

Christopher had this meal ready when I got home pretty late from work on Tuesday.  We had never made beef stroganoff before, but it was really good, so it's a dish we'll have again.

Since it was pi day on Wednesday, I made a coconut cream pie for the occasion:

Our day today started out with this breakfast:

And this evening we're heading over to Christopher's brother Steve and his wife Mel's house to spend time with them and our niece Charlotte.  We're going to cook some Irish food tomorrow as a little late St. Pat's celebration!

What are you up to this weekend?  Did you have pie on pi day?  Are you doing anything to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?