Thursday, January 28, 2010

BBQ on the brain

I seem to be having cravings for BBQ. It's possibly because my body knows it's a good 2 - 3 months until I can fire up the outdoor BBQ and have at er!
One of my favourite BBQ sauces is Bull's-eye from Kraft. Even though I tend to stick to the Original, I do plan to try some of their other flavours.
I can't wait for ribs, chicken, steak......Spring can't get here fast enough.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sad day in Calgary - Wildwood has closed

As you may know, Wildwood was one of our favourite places to eat in Calgary see previous post here.
I've just learned that Wildwood has closed its doors. I'm not sure what the reason for closing was (economy, staff, just time to close and move on). I am hoping that they open up in a new location as I thought their food was fantastic.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I will never eat at Nelie's again

There's a restaurant chain in Calgary that we used to enjoy going to and in our past form (pre-child, living downtown) we used to frequent almost every weekend. I was quite offended and disgusted to find out that these restaurants have had health citations for almost 10 years without any resolution or correction. Now, they have finally been fined.

Also what really bugs we is that the owner is playing the victim...she was on the news going on about how hard it is to be a single mom and to find good staff etc (like this excuses her for serving me food with mouse shit in it)...well dummy, then don't expand your cafes to the point where you can't control them...Also she said " I guess this is a wake up call"...WTF? some of these citations date back 10 years !!! wake up call ?!?!? AND SHE JUST NOW TOOK A FOOD SAFETY COURSE ????I don't buy her excuses for one minute. I've always heard she was a flake, but this takes the cake (mouse turd cake in her case). Sorry lady, I will never go to your cafe again...EVER !

Here's the article from CBC:

The owner of a popular breakfast chain in Calgary has been fined more than $60,000 for health code violations that span 12 years.

Roxanne Taylor-King pleaded guilty to 43 charges under the Public Health Act at five of her six Nellie's restaurants across Calgary, resulting in a fine of $61,870 handed down on Friday.

Citations handed out by health inspectors date back to February 1998 include notices for mouse droppings in food in the kitchen, said Rob O'Neill, a lawyer for Alberta Health Services.

Officials also found that perishable foods were being stored on the floor, not being kept at a proper temperature, or not being handled safely by staff.

Other violations listed utensils and equipment not being cleaned and sanitized properly, and the lack of soap or paper towels in kitchen areas.

Provincial court Judge Barbara Veldhuis said Taylor-King had been given far more opportunities to clean up her restaurants than she deserved.

Officials with Alberta Health Services admitted their own high staff turnover with inspectors led to delays in prosecuting the charges.

Nellie's locations cited:

Nellie's on 4th - 2308 Fourth St. S.W.
Nellie's on 90th - 209-2515 90th Ave. S.W.
Nellie's Kitchen - 738B-17th Ave. S.W.
Nellie's on Kensington - 104-1414 Kensington Rd.
Nellie's Cosmic Café - 1001 17th Ave. S.W.
Violations found at the Nellie's in Marda Loop were satisfactorily cleaned up, according to AHS reports.
Taylor-King said the height of Calgary's boom also meant high staff turnover for her restaurants and an inability to hire tradespeople to complete necessary renovations.

However, she pointed out that she has fixed several problems since prosecution began, such as personally passing a food safety handling course.

Outside of court, Taylor-King told reporters she would be working to keep all six of her restaurants up to provincial standards.

"I am sure it will be a wake-up call for a lot of people and it will definitely be a wake-up call for me," she said.

O'Neill said that any more violations at the restaurants will likely result in their closure

The violations at Nellie's were no worse than others found in other establishments, he added

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shrimp Salad

I was looking for something light for dinner tonight and I had suggested a shrimp salad so I thought I would look around and find a recipe to try. Here's one from my wife's favourite chef, the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I'll let you know how it turns out.


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon cut into quarters
4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)
2 cups good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)
3 cups minced celery (6 stalks)

Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 tablespoons salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Let cool; then peel, and devein the shrimp.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beef Stirfry

We had a couple pieces of Sirloin and we were feeling kind of lazy so we did a quick stir fry. We used this as an opportunity to do a fridge clean out (really, there's no need to let things go bad in your fridge, you should always look for an opportunity to use up what you have and this is a great way to do it).

Here's what we did.

  • We seasoned the sirloin with salt, pepper, cut into thin strips and cooked it until rare in a wok style pan

  • I cut up 4 carrots, a head of broccoli, some button mushrooms and an onion

  • Once the steak was at rare, we added the veggies.

  • Once the veggies were almost cooked we added oyster sauce

Very simple. Very tasty. Pour this over a bed of rice and in 25 minutes from start to finish you have yourself a great meal !

Friday, January 8, 2010

Results of the Spicy Breaded Chicken

Last night I finally got to make the Spicy Bread Chicken Wings . I think everything went very well. It's a very simple recipe that's easy to put together and has great results. We made a few modifications and I have a couple comments for when I do them again.

  • We split the full wings and tossed out the tips (this just makes the wings easier to eat and easier to dip if you want to add a ranch or blue cheese)

  • My wife doesn't like things as spicy as I do so we halved the cayenne pepper. To be honest, for future batches I may increase the recipe amount. The small amount we used was lost in the other flavours. The next time I may double the amount to see how that works (I may also add some Tabasco sauce to the mustard...I'll try and let you know)

  • I would add salt and pepper to taste

These are highly recommended for snacks while watching 'the big game'. Thanks again to the SimplyRecipes blog.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bacon and Eggs can do anything !

Is there nothing bacon and eggs can't do ? Taken from Mail Online

The traditional English breakfast is not normally associated with good health.
But scientists have found that eating a plate of bacon and eggs could help pregnant women boost the intelligence of their unborn child.
Women are usually given a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy and it is well documented that a pregnant woman's diet can affect her unborn baby.

Scientists have found that eating a plate of bacon and eggs could help pregnant women boost the intelligence of their unborn child
But the new study suggests that a chemical in pork products and eggs can help the baby's growing brain to develop.
Scientists at the University of North Carolina have discovered that the micronutrient, called choline, is vital in helping babies in the womb develop parts of their brains linked to memory and recall.

In a study of the effects of choline on the brains of baby mice, those fed small doses of choline while in the womb had genetic differences to those given large amounts.
Dr Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, which published the research told The Telegraph: 'We may never be able to call bacon a health food with a straight face, but [similar studies] are already making us rethink what we consider healthy and unhealthy.'
Other foods that contain a high level of the nutrient include liver, milk, chicken and nuts.
Previous studies have suggested that large doses

Now, I think we have to be smart about what this doesn't say run out and eat Bacon and Eggs for every me, it's like the health benefits of red wine. All in moderation. So, a couple eggs with a couple rashes of bacon on a Saturday morning should be just right (I'm no Doctor and I'm not pregnant nor am I a woman, so, I could drown myself in bacon...that's just how much I love the stuff)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sweet Chipotle Wing Glaze

The wings have been put off to Thursday so I figured I'd find one more recipe (I'll do 2 different styles). This one came from RecipeZaar

1/2 cup brown sugar corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5-10 dashes Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
1Combine all ingredients.
2Heat in microwave for 1 minute This is to melt the sugar and meld all the flavors.
3Cool. If you pour the glaze warm it tends to be thin and doesn't really adhere as well.
4Pour over cooked wings and toss

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings

Here's a recipe for chicken wings I plan to try out tomorrow night (I'll let you know what happens). It comes from the SimplyRecipes Blog. looks great !

Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings Recipe

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs* or panko
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
3 pounds chicken wings (12-14), wing tips cut off and discarded or saved for stock
*To make bread crumbs, take 2 or 3 slices of white sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch pieces, pulse in a food processor or blender until crumbly.

1 Preheat oven to 450°F. Oil the rack of a broiler pan.

2 In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the Dijon, oil, vinegar, dry mustard, and cayenne. In another bowl toss together the Parmesan and bread crumbs. Working one at time, coat the chicken wings with the mustard mixture, rubbing the mixture in well. Then press the wings, thick skin side down, into the bread crumb mixture. Place the wings on the prepared rack and broiler pan, crumb side up.

3 Bake wings in oven for 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown.

Can be served warm or at room temperature. Can make ahead one day, chill, and reheat in 400°F until coating is crispy.

Just a quick clarification.....quick post to start the year !

Just to clarify...this blog was originally started by my wife who is a trained cook/chef. I on the other not (I just enjoy food and eating...I do enjoy cooking, but I'm much more of a simpleton...but getting better).
From time to time we both update this blog...I'm sure you'll be able to tell who's doing which post.

Here's to new food adventures for 2010 !

And a quick update,

Since I can't get enough turkey we started the new year with.....a roast turkey dinner. It was great. It consisted of my wife's turkey and my butter/sour cream mashed potatoes, Broccoli with the cheese sauce in the previous post, carrots and peas (our boy LOVES peas) and stuffing.....mmmmm...I should have taken a picture (I was too busy gorging myself).

Up coming in the next week or so will be Ribs, Taco's, Lasagna, Turkey sandwiches and pot pies and a couple reviews of some local places.

Thanks for reading !