Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beer Bread

I was flipping through an old Jamie Oliver Naked Chef cookbook and found his section on bread, and since I'm all bread-tastic these days I read through what he had to say. One of the recipes was for beer bread. It was basically a bread recipe with beer instead of water....


Since I had a neat beer in the 'fridge (of course)...that beer is La Fin Du Monde

I decided this would be a good one to use.

I used the recipe found in the previous post and just used beer instead of water and did not add the cheese....I still added the oregano...1) I like the smell and taste and 2) I thought it might add a bit of flavour

It worked out GREAT !

My dough didn't rise much and I waited longer...I'll chalk that up to the fact that we had an 'ass snapping' cold weekend and the dough was not getting any external heat.

In the end it still worked out and had a nice taste...not super beery...

This is the type of bread that would be great as a starter with a flavoured butter, while sipping a beer and waiting for your tray of meats and cheeses.

Next ?

I'm going to make SAUSAGE !

Look at me go !!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday baking

I'm in the process of making the Parmesan Oregano bread again with WHole Wheat flour...right after that I'll make some Onion Bread and then a pizza crust for dinner....look at me go !


Friday, October 28, 2011

Butcher Blocks

I've now started making butcher block cutting boards. This one is American Cherry end grain (end grain will be way stronger). This one is roughly 15" x 24". I'd be selling these starting around 45$ depending on size. Leave a comment if you're interested.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Parmesan Oregano Bread

I took my first crack at making bread today. I decided to make Parmesan Oregano Bread. I found a simple recipe and went with it.

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions1.Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl. Let stand a few minutes, then stir and dissolve yeast. Add sugar and let the mixture get nice and foamy. Then add salt, butter, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano and 3 cups of the flour. Beat at slow speed for 2 minutes. Beat in rest of flour; cover the bowl with a sheet of wax paper and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place 45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one round, 2-quart casserole. Set aside.
3.Stir batter down for 1/2 a minute. Turn dough into casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 minutes.

It worked out quite nice. I'll give this a try again once gone then try a more healthy bread with whole wheat flour.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Awesome Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a nasty habit of finding recipes on the internet, writing them down and then forgetting where I found them....hmmm, maybe I should just put them in my favourites....what a wild concept.
Anyway, I found this recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies....the addition of vanilla pudding had me raise an eyebrow...but I have to say, these were GREAT ! (they didn't last long in the house).

Have a try ! (and if anyone knows where it came from, send me a note so I can give them a shout out)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food Fail

I'm sure this can't be real....can it ?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breakfast in Whitefish Montana

The best place in Whitefish for Breakfast. The End.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A mole you say

So...we've been noticing these mysterious piles of dirt in our small but cute garden for the last few weeks that really had us perplexed until we finally realized that we had a mole...HOW'D THAT GET THERE ????

While they don't eat the vegetation, they sure make a mess of everything creating their underground passages. So now we're trying to figure out the fastest, best and most humane way of getting rid of these buggers...I have found that using strong colorful language and flipping the bird has no effect (although, it may cause the neighbors to call the police if I keep it up)

Any and all advice would be welcome

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I've been hearing about all these new gourmet food trucks that have been rolling out in cities around the globe. Not just the greasy burger, dog or mystery meat on a stick, but actual high end cuisine !

And now it looks as though Calgary is helping push this with cutting some red tape to get these restaurants on wheels out and to the masses.

Click HERE to read about it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Short Break

Sorry for the short's all busy up in 'ere !

We've been tending our small but cute garden full of carrots, beats, lettuce, strawberries, chives, and other food we hope to have some great 'made at home' veggies and sides with our 'home made' meals.

We're finally getting out to a local farmers market this weekend ( the Millerville Farmers Market ) and I WILL be buying a chunk of's GREAT !

We have been doing plenty of grilling on the BBQ and I hope to have some dishes to share ASAP.

I hope everyone is having a great summer !

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad

Great article about the ever boring Chicken Caesar Salad from Chef Writer Michael Ruhlman.
Both worth a read !

Food in Vegas

Just got back from a weekend in Vegas...and we need a vacation from our vacation (I suppose that's when you know you've done Vegas right). This time around it wasn't all about the 'WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER !'...we wanted to eat somewhere other than buffets and 2$ beer and a hot dog.
One of the places we hit was Todd English PUB (public urban bar). Todd English is a Boston based Chef Restaurateur who has the Olives chain (found at the Bellagio). This place is just what it sounds like...a high end Pub. It's connected to one of the new hotel resorts at city center called Aria (very nice place).

We were hungry and wanted to try as much as possible so we ordered a beer sampler(they have a couple on the menu)
along with Duck Buns and Onion Rings. The duck was nicely cooked within an Asian sweet sticky bun. The plate came with three which was perfect for sharing
. The onion rings almost made me fall out of my chair...THEY WERE HUGE ! Perfectly cooked and had a spicy ranch dressing.

After we finished these two plates of appetizers we were almost done...we keep forgetting that the portion sizes are big...and then what do we do ? Instead of ordering a plate of sliders to share (assuming it would be too much food) I ordered a plate of Dirty Chips. I assumed, since they were hand made potato chips with dressing they would come in a small basket and be perfect for munching on with the remainder of our beer sampler. NOPE...
A massive plate that looked like nachos showed up....needless to say, we didn't put much of a dent in it...

All in all, I'd say the place is worth a visit when you're wandering down the strip and need a snack...just remember that if you plan to share a few appys, it's best to have at least 4 of you there....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

St. Lucia Salt Fish & Banana Salad

We just returned from a fantastic week in St. Lucia and one of the most frequent dishes we saw was a Salt Fish (Cod) and Green Banana salad. It closely resembled a potato salad in it's look and texture. I really liked it, although at each place the taste varied (some bland, some too salty). I will definitely try to make it myself. After a quick search online I found this recipe from . It's not exactly what we had, but it's close and it'll be what I try first...I'll continue to look for the exact recipe. Enjoy !

St Lucian Style Salt Fish
2lbs salt cod
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
4 tbsp onion, sliced
3 tbsp scallions chopped
2 tbsp chadon bene or cilantro chopped
½ cup tomatoes cut in ¼ inch cubed
2 tbsp seasoning peppers (pimento) chopped
½ cup bell peppers cut in ¼ inch cubed
1 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp hot sauce
Salt to taste

In a large skillet, boil salt cod three times to remove excessive salt rough chop and set aside.

In large frying pan heat oil to medium heat and sauté herbs and vegetables for 2 minutes, then add salt cod with remaining ingredients and toss for another two minutes, set aside.

15 servings

Sautéed Ripe Plantain
1 large ripe plantain peeled & sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

In large frying pan heat oil to medium heat and sauté plantain until golden brown on each side, remove from frying and drain on paper towel, sprinkle with salt to taste.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sweet and Sour Fish - In Squirrel Shape

I just returned from a business trip to Beijing and while I was there I had the pleasure of eating tons of great food. One of the dishes that stood out was a sweet and sour fish done in a Squirrel Shape. I loved the look and the taste.

I highly recommend this if you see it on a menu.

I am going to try to do it at home and I found this recipe online....maybe next Friday for Gourmet Night !

Attached is a picture of the dish I tucked into.

Here is the recipe:

Sweet and Sour Fish (In the Squirrel Shape)


1 Whole Fish (Blue cod is the best fish to use for this traditional dish)
2 Cups Pomegranate Juice
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornflour
2 Capsicums
1 White Onion
2 Celery Sticks
1 Egg
Canola oil for cooking
Flat Leaf Parsley

Cooking Instructions:

Cut the capsicum, celery and onion into small chunks.
Prepare the sauce by mixing the juice, vinegar and cornflour - stir until is cornflour is dissolved.
Put aside.

Clean and scale the fish.
Carefully cut the head from the fish and then cut across the chin so the head opens out facing the stars.
Butterfly Fillet the Fish being very careful to keep the fillets joined, then cut deep diamond shapes careful not to cut all the way through.

Coat the fish fillets in egg and then completely cover in cornflour - it's very important to rub cornflour into every diamond fold so they separate when cooking.
Also coat the head of the fish.

Heat deep frying canola oil until smoking hot, then drop in the head to cook, hold the fish fillet at the top and tail and hold it into the hot oil in a curve until the shape has started to set then drop the whole thing in to cook. Cook for a couple of minutes then carefully remove and drain. Arrange the head and body on the plate in the squirrel shape.

Stir fry the vegetables until just cooked but still crisp, add the sauce and stir until thick.
Pour over the fish on the plate and garnish with pine nuts and a little flat leaf parsley.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Updates....what's going on ?

I apologize for the lack of home made"Yummy" things on the blog. With work getting busy again, and the toddler and newb keeping us extremely busy [and sleep deprived], the meals haven't been, shall we say, noteworthy. Not to say they aren't tasty and well prepared, just a lot of the 'same old same old'...which in our case, is just fine with me. (aside: I did make some nice fluffy 'Canadian' Pancakes and some gourmet pork/beef burgers stuffed with goat cheese but just haven't had time to update yet....maybe tonight ?)

For example, we picked up some value/family packs of pork loin and salmon. Easy to cook in different ways and perfect for quick put together meals. Two nights ago we had salt and pepper salmon on a bed of fried veg. Simple...And last night used the remaining salmon for a quick butter garlic salmon pasta (I finished the last bit of that for lunch today). The menu next week ? Probably Pork, Salmon and Pasta again.....

So what to do...

It wasn't a hard decision. We decided that Friday's are now GOURMET NIGHT ! We will take the time to dust off the cook book project and put a bit more effort into what we cook up on Fridays (something other than simple pork loin, salmon or pasta).

I think I will also update with the quick meals since there are probably people out there wondering what they can do..FAST and EASY.

Here's to some interesting dishes coming our way in 2011 !!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#MEATEASY - London, UK

Check out this great post about a place in London, UK called #MEATEASY. It looks like a great place has opened due to an unfortunate event (the dude's Meat Wagon was stolen). They serve what they refer to as American food in London (Burgers, Chili Dogs, Onion Rings, etc, which all look awesome in the pictures)

The bad news ? It's only open until mid March !!!!
Good news/bad news for me...I'll be there on March 16th....will it be open or closed ? Gawd I hope open, this place looks fantastic !

Click HERE to go to the post on FOOD STORIES.