Friday, October 28, 2011

Mushroom, Goat Cheese, and Spinach Omelet

What are you doing this weekend?  Phil and I are having friends over again for dinner.  They have three kids so I'm trying to think of some kid friendly dishes.  Any suggestions?  I'm also hoping to get outside to clean up the garden before winter.  It's been so rainy lately I haven't had a chance. 

Of course you always have to make time for a leisurely breakfast where you can enjoy a cup of tea and read the newspaper.   Happy Weekend!

Yields 2

Ingredients:

2 Tbs of canolla oil.
 5 Large eggs
1/3 Cup of milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Cup of Spinach, loosely packed
3/4 Cup of mushrooms, sliced (use your favourite kind of mushrooms)
1/3 Cup of goat cheese

For the omelet:

Heat a small non-stick frying pan on medium heat with half of the oil.  In a bowl whisk together the egg, milk and salt and pepper.  Pour half of the mixture into the pan and move the pan around so all the egg mixture covers the surface of the pan. Wait until the egg is beginning to set.  Working quickly, add half of your ingredients and close up the omelet making a half moon shape.  Cook for a few minutes and remove from heat.  Repeat for the second omelet. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hallway Wall Decorating


What can I do with this long hallway?  Right now it's a bunch of empty space. 


On the side with the long wall I have a one framed photo. The plan is to have a gallery wall, but I find them a little intimidating.  Plus, I don't have nearly enough pictures to hang. Do you build the gallery wall gradually or hang all at once?  I couldn't wait so I hung one of Jane to the side hoping it doesn't look too awkward. 


On the other side I have a painting that fits nicely but I worry about it matching the photos on my future gallery wall.  Do you collect pictures so they all match? Decorating usually comes easy to me but this one is tricky. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ricotta and Lemon Eggplant Rolls

This dish is so quick and easy.  Even faster if you have sauce preserved from all your summer tomatoes, or store-bought is fine too. 

I was watching City Line the other day and they demonstrated this Chatelaine recipe.  I bet you don't cook with eggplant enough.  Try it, it's something different from your usual vegetables.  I find it's easy to make your way over to the same veggies in the produce section over and over again.  I know I do. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apricot and Fig Sauce

Christmas came early to my house this weekend.  At least that's what it smelt like when I was cooking this sauce for a party over the weekend.

I found the recipe for this delicious sauce in Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentis.  Mine was slightly different as I used fresh figs and added the dried apricots since I had some in the cupboard.  There were so many layers of flavour to it.  I served this with roast pork.  

Ingredients:

2 Cups of port
1 Cup of chicken broth
5 figs, coarsely chopped
8 Dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 Springs of fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. of honey
2 Tbs. of unsalted butter
1/4 Tsp. of kosher salt
1/4 Tsp. of freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:

In a medium size saucepan, combine the port, chicken broth, figs, apricots, rosemary, cinnamon, and honey.  Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.  Discard the rosemary, sprigs and cinnamon sticks.  Blend the mixture with a hand blender of a regular blender and puree until smooth.  Blend in the butter, salt, and pepper.  The sauce can be made one 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm over medium heat before using.

Monday, October 24, 2011

White Bean Dip





A different take on my usual hummus, and also just as good for you, without sacrificing on flavour.


I served this on Sunday afternoon before a roast dinner.  Phil and I had all his family over to celebrate his mom's and sister's birthdays.  

Ingredients:

Pita bread
Extra Virgin olive oil
1 15-ounce can of white kidney bean, drained and rinsed
1/4 Cup of fresh parsley
1 Lemon, freshly squeezed
1 Garlic clove

For the Dip:

In your food processor combine beans, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic.  Pulse on and off until the mixture is chopped.  With the processor still running, slowly add your olive oil and blend until smooth.  If you like, season with salt and pepper, but I leave it out and it tastes great. 

This can be served with pita, toasted bread, or veggies like endive... any way you would serve hummus. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coq au Vin

How was your weekend?

We had our friends Mila and Milos over with their two little girls for dinner, and we took Jane to her first  swimming class.  You should have seen her kicking and splashing all over the place!

After swimming and running errands in the chilly weather I felt like something hearty.  I also had a bottle of opened white wine that was a little too sweet for my taste to use, so I decided to make my version of Coq au Vin. 

Ingredients:

4 chicken thighs
2 Tbs of Vegetable oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
Carrots, chopped
Celery, chopped
Onion, chopped
1 Cup of cremini mushrooms, quartered 
2 Yukon gold potatoes,  quartered
3 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbs of flour
1 Tbs of Tomato paste
1 Bay leaf
1 Tbs of fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbs of fresh oregano, chopped
1 Tbs of parsley, chopped
 About half a bottle of white wine *
1 Cup of chicken stock

For the coq au vin:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Season chicken thighs with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown chicken on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.  Adjust the seasoning and add a little salt and pepper. 

 * I used a Moscato by Woodbridge, Robert Monda


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roasted Pork Loin

What a beautiful weekend we had!  I can't remember when we had a Thanksgiving weekend with the temperature in the high twenties, can you?  Since we've had almost a week straight of beautiful sun, I don't think we can feel too badly about the rain that they're calling for now.  This recipe is perfect for a wet fall day. 

Ingredients:

2 Pounds of pork loin roast
1.5 Tbs of Fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbs of Parsley, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1/4 Cup of olive oil

For the pork:

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Crush garlic with rosemary, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper, making a paste. Pierce meat with a sharp knife in several places and press the garlic paste into the openings. Rub the meat with the remaining garlic mixture.  

Place pork loin into oven, turning and basting with pan liquids. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the centre, about 2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160F. 

Remove roast to a platter and tent with foil for about 15 minutes before carving.  This is also a good time to make your gravy using the pan juices and some red or white wine.  Between you and me my au jus and gravy needs work, so I don't feel confident enough to offer up directions on how to make it.  Any tips??

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Like everybody else in the world we decided to take a country drive and check out Chudleigh's Apple Farm.  The traffic was crazy!! And it was all leading up to the farm. So we decided to check out another smaller farm, and stumbled upon Andrew's Acres.  They had a little winery and a beautiful field of Dahlias where you could pick a bouquet for $7.  This makes me want to plant some in my garden.  I think they're bulbs, so now would be the time. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quinoa and Sunflower Green Salad


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! 

What are your plans for this sunny weekend?  Phil, Jane and I are going to Chudleigh's Apple Farm on Saturday, Sunday we're having dinner with my family, and Monday dinner with Phil's family.  The best part of the weekend is my sister and her kids are in town!  Family dinners always remind me of when it used to be just the five of us since all our relatives are overseas, but now we have expanded to a whopping 15!!

The past week Phil and I have been eating a little lighter since this weekend we'll be eating not so light.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Quinoa
1 Bunch of Sunflowers Greens
1/2 Cup of Goats Cheese
1 Cup of Cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of Basil, shredded
1 Lemon, squeezed
1 Tbs of Extra Virgin Olive oil

For the Quinoa:

Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the Quinoa and transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups water & 1/2 tsp salt if desired.  Bring to a boil, cover with tight fitting lid and turn the heat down to simmer.  Let cook for 15 minutes.  Remove Quinoa from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes with the lid on.  Fluff with a fork.  Add all ingredients and combine. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Portuguese Chourico and Peppers






I bought some Chourico on a whim earlier this week at No Frills. They always have a variety of cured meats that I'm not accustomed to using, so I thought why not...


Not being familiar with the taste I decided to google how it's used, and the same recipe came up numerous times, so I went with it.  I added some stock (unfortunately I didn't have any wine open), a little ed wine vinegar and also added some potatoes.  The sausage was smokey tasting and the sauce was very rich.  It was tasty but after a while the flavour was too rich for me.  Anybody know anything about this recipe?  It seems like a well known Portuguese dish. 

Here's the recipe I used.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Costco Pasta


Last week I was at Costco doing a quick browse down the aisles when I stumbled upon some pasta I've never seen sold there, called Tagliatelle artisan egg pasta made by Filotea.  Have you tried it?  I'm now hooked on that, and Mary's Organic Crackers.  You have to try both.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes


 How was your weekend?  Phil and I went for dinner just the two of us to a new restaurant around the corner from us.  Unfortunately the food wasn't the greatest but we still enjoyed our evening.  We also had a couple and their 5 year old son for dinner.  We served steak with sauteed mushrooms with thyme, salad, roasted carrots and parsnips, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  Everything was rally tasty but I have to say I think I was most proud of the mashed potatoes. 

Ingredients:

1 Head garlic
1 Tbs of olive oil
2 Pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered (you can peel if you like but I didn't)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

For the potatoes: 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Drizzle garlic with olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash, stir in butter, milk, salt and pepper.  Remove the garlic from the oven, and cut in half. Squeeze the softened cloves into the potatoes. Blend potatoes with a rubber spatula. You're done.