Sunday, April 29, 2018

Our Weekend

On Friday evening Christopher's parents had us over for dinner.  My father-in-law makes fabulous Peking duck, and he knows we love it.  It's a two-day process to make, and he has it mastered.

Retro snacks in the living room to start:

My mother-in-law had an idea to serve up some snacks they would have had back in the 60s, like a classic onion soup mix chip dip, celery with Cheese Whiz, shrimp and cocktail sauce, soda crackers and cheese.  I hadn't had celery with cheese in a long time, and I absolutely love this combination.  I think I ate most of them.

After catching up over snacks, we eventually moved into the kitchen for the main course.  They served the Peking duck with bread, Florentine rice with sauce, and short ribs:

My helping:

Dessert was a no-bake cheesecake with cherries.  We even got a small cheesecake to take home, which made a perfect dessert the next evening.

We had a lot of laughs after dinner, and it was a wonderful way to kick off the weekend.

On Saturday morning Christopher made this breakfast:

Then we went outside to enjoy our first patio day of the year!

We were outside enjoying the weather for most of the day, and had our first BBQ of the year too!  I am so happy it's finally nice enough to spend the day in the yard.

Inside the tinfoil packet were some soaked wood chips to give the chicken a bit of a smokey flavour.

Baked potatoes, corn salad, and jerk chicken:

This morning we had a tiny breakfast to hold us over until we met up with a few of our friends for brunch at 12:30.

We didn't end up ordering until closer to 1:30, and by that point brunch was done, so we ordered lunch instead.  I had pad Thai.

Dinner tonight is going to be leftover jerk chicken, etc.

How was your weekend?  What did you do?
Did you spend some time outside?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

The daylight in the mornings is putting a spring in my step, and pretty breakfasts like this don't hurt either:

1/4 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of milk, 1-2 T of peanut butter, raisins, shredded coconut, strawberries, and almonds.

Once it warms up outside we usually crave lighter meals.  We had a three meal-sized salads last week including a Lebanese salad, fattoush:

Cobb salad:

And a basic tossed salad:

Other evenings we had veggie pita pizzas:

Bratwurst with salad:

And a new favourite, spiced beef patties with couscous:

This meal was so delicious, and reminded us a lot of dishes we've had at an Afghan restaurant in town.  It looks like steak, but it's made with ground beef.  The leftovers for lunch were super good too, and smelled amazing as they warmed up.

So far this week we've made curried shrimp stuffed eggplant:

And a tofu-veggie stir fry with brown rice:

We've been busy getting the yard cleaned up/doing stuff around the house, and since it's after 7 p.m. already tonight and we haven't made dinner yet, we'll likely just snack on some fruits and veggies.  It's not too often that we just wing it with dinner, but we've had busy days and don't feel like cooking this evening.

What did you have for dinner this evening?  Or what are you planning on having?  What do you have for dinner on the days that you don't feel like cooking?  

(At our house it is random snacks like smoked oysters, cheese and crackers, cut up veggies, etc., or Kraft Dinner).

Monday, April 23, 2018

New Eats

A couple weekends ago we made a whole bunch of new recipes.  There was the fresh pasta, beet gnocchi, and cappuccino pavlova, but that was just half of our cooking/baking adventure.

We made a new breakfast casserole:

It starts with a layer of Italian sausage (cooked):

Then cheese:

An egg mixture:

And a layer of frozen hash browns (or tater tots):

Then it goes into the oven, and it wakes up your senses as it cooks:

We each had a slice, and then had breakfast for the start of the work week.

Find the recipe here.

Another new dish we tried was slow cooker Moroccan chicken, and we loved it!  We are huge fans of olives, and the lemon also made this so flavourful.  We served it with brown rice.

The raisins really added something to it; if you make this, I would not recommend eliminating them.  I think the dish needs all the elements.

For dessert I made a batch of chocolate chip Oreo cookies.

I really enjoy desserts with Oreo in them, and these instantly caught my eye.  They were easy, and a perfect recipe.  I'd make them again for sure.

And if that wasn't a delicious enough weekend, we also tried a couple new cheeses and some walnut sausage that we found at the grocery store down the street.

Spring has finally appeared, and it is beautiful!  We walked to dinner at dusk this past Saturday evening to really enjoy the evening weather, and it felt so good to be outside.  I can't wait to spend loads of time outdoors in the coming months.

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Did you get outside at all?  Have you cooked/ baked anything new recently? 

Friday, April 20, 2018

About Last Weekend ...

Last weekend was super windy, and just not very nice.  We decided it would be a great weekend to stay inside, hang around, visit, and try cooking some new dishes.

Christopher's parents bought us a pasta maker a few months ago, so we were excited to try it out!  Neither of us had ever made our own pasta before, so last Friday night we got down to it ...

Once we got it set up, it took a few tries running the dough through to get the hang of it, but I think we've got it figured out now.

We made fettuccine for our first try at pasta, and then threw together a carbonara sauce too:

It was really good, and we're looking forward to practicing with the pasta maker again.  The more we make it, the faster we'll get at it, although it really didn't take that long to make (and the boiling time is next to nothing).

Breakfast last Saturday was an omelette with herb potatoes and bacon:

For dinner that evening we made gnocchi for the first time.  Instead of just going with regular gnocchi, we decided to sass it up with beets (we're obsessed with putting beet into everything if you haven't noticed).

Much prettier than regular dough 💗

We just did a very simple browned butter sage sauce, as we wanted the flavour of the beet to come through.

Dessert was a cappuccino pavlova.  I made the a pavlova right after our coffees in the morning, and let it cool in the oven all day (baked it, then turned off the oven, but left it in there without opening the door).  After supper I whipped the cream and topped it with that and a sprinkle of cocoa.

Crunchy, chewy, marshmallowy texture, with a lovely cappuccino flavour.

It was a tasty weekend, and that was only part of it (more in the next post).

Have you ever made homemade pasta?  Gnocchi?  
Are you a pasta fan?  What's your favourite type of noodle?