Thursday, January 31, 2013

Red Pepper Risotto & Garlicky Chicken Thighs

Today is Thursday, and I should have gone food shopping this past weekend, but I did not. Therefore, we're doing a pantry raid (PAN-TREE, not PAN-TY, as autocorrect thinks it should be....autocorrect, get your mind out of the obviously have watched Revenge Of The Nerds one too many times.)

I am using a jar of marinated, roasted red peppers, a box of Arborio rice, and a carton of chicken stock from the pantry stash.  I've been ignoring these buggers for several weeks. Guess what guys?  You're up....I feel they should be wearing top hats, donning a cane, and singing and dancing like the WB/Loony Toons cartoon frog (Hello, my baby. Hello, my darling. Hello, my rag time gaaallllll).

Anyway, here on earth.......although I am quite witty today, I am equally lazy.  I don't want to have to clean multiple pans, so I am one-potting this in a huge non-stick skillet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Homemade Tortillas

Fact:  I have a lot of time on my hands.
Fact:  It's winter in Alberta.
Fact:  I have OCD tendencies (and a fondness for Dwight Schrewt).

Yes, the Perfect Storm for tortilla making.

I will never buy store bought flour tortillas again; these are easy to make and so much better IMHO.  Mix the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, mix well, knead for a few minutes, let rise in an oiled bowl.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DIY Orange Julius

There are tons of versions on the web on how to make this frozen treat.  I have tried several and came up with my own version.

I'm still rocking those Cara Cara oranges

Many versions add sugar, some 1 1/2 cups of sugar, I don't think you need any.  I will say though, you need to find a frozen concentrated orange juice brand that is not bitter or sour. I used Minute Maid; I find it sweet enough without the bitterness or sourness of some other brands.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Do you remember those dehydrated apples I made a few weeks ago?  I specifically obsessed about dehydrated apples for this recipe.

Actually, this recipe not only had me hunting for nut-free apple rings (which I could not find, and had to resort to making), but also nut free pumpkin seeds as well.  I searched high and low, at 5 different food stores for pumpkin seeds....just when I had given up, I found them. Winners (the Canadian 'Marshalls') had them at the checkout line....I swear, they litter that last aisle with the best things.  Although they were not the plain variety of seeds I was looking for, Salted and Cinnamon Sugar was something I could work with.  Pumpkin seeds are a great replacement for nuts in granola for us.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Out & About: City Market Saturday

Downtown Edmonton on a Saturday morning is where you will find City Market on 104 Street. This time of year however, the venue is moved indoors to the Edmonton City Hall building.

Let's head out!

Here, at the corner of 102 Ave & 103 Street, I wanted to show this pedway.  Downtown Edmonton has an indoor pedway system; below ground, ground level, and above ground.  We are going to take advantage of this today because it's cold, windy, and a little we need to hit the ATM, or as they say here...ABM, automated banking machine.  

Crossing the street now brings us to the City Centre (Canadian spelling), part of the pedway system.  City Centre Mall has a West and an East Building on either side of 101 Street.  If you are on the 3rd floor/Pedway level, or the 1st floor/Underground level, you can stay indoors while crossing over into the next building.  If you are on the 2nd floor/Ground level, then you have to go outside, walk down to the corner and cross the street; which is what we did. S. would NOT allow jaywalking.  

Winter Fruit Salad

Have you ever had a Cara Cara orange?  You know, the pink ones?  They are sooooo good.  These and Blood oranges are only available January through try one....I triple-dog dare-you (the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare!)

Doot-da-da-doot!!!  The fruit of the week in our house this week.......drum roll, please......yup, you guessed it.......the Cara Cara orange!

I make this fruit medley at the beginning of the week and we graze on it for the next 3 or 4 days.  Even S. (the notorious produce snob) enjoys it.

Now, I am not making supremes (SUE-PREMS) of the citrus,  per say.....(somewhere, Martha Stewart just got a chill)'s more of a modified version of this technique.  I remove the skin, the pith and the seeds....the membrane?......meh, not so much.  Just cut the top and bottom off the fruit, then along the contour of the fruit, cut down from top to bottom removing the skin and the pith in strips all the way around.  Now cut in half and pull out the large white pith in the core and cut each half into 4-6 slices.  If the slices have seeds remove them and trim any remaining pith if desired.

Dehydrated Apples

I was looking for dehydrated apples to add to my granola.  EVERY SINGLE bag I found had that stupid (!) allergy warning/disclaimer written on the back of the package......processed in/on a facility that may/may not (who really knows anyway) handles/processes tree nuts/peanuts blah blah blah.

It's a good thing I purchased my apples in bulk this week.  Plus, bagged apples don't have stickers on them.  I hate those stickers.  I hate them.  There is always one stuck onto the drain, counter, floor, dog, etc, in my house.  I saw show a on the Food Network once about a laser (said like Dr. Evil) that can tattoo a bar code and item number onto the surface of the fruit, without altering its composition, alleviating the need for fruit stickers!  I know, right?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Caramelized Onions & Mustard Maple Onion Melts

Caramelized.  Onions.  The possibilities are endless.

They can be added to your favorite Mac N' Cheese recipe or served over Buttered Egg Noodles...They could be the base for French Onion Soup, better yet, French Onion Grilled Cheese.  

I picked up four large softball-sized sweet onions and ran them through the food processor....

Then I mounded them into my largest skillet with salt, pepper, sugar, bay leaves, butter & olive oil over medium heat.  I gave them a quick toss and let them sweat out for about 30 minutes.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out & About: Subways & Hipsters

Last week S. took a few unexpected days off from work.  We decided to venture out for a subway ride and grab some lunch.  The subway system in Edmonton isn't as extensive as some other metro cities; it goes north from Century Park to Clairview.  That's it.

Having never gone to points south of the downtown area, that's where we plotted our course.  Destination:  Southgate Mall....they have an Opa! in their food court, S.'s newest obsession.  I must say, for a chain, fast food restaurant, they have the best tzatziki I've ever had.  S. had a Donair with fries and I had Calamari with a Greek Salad.  It was very good.  Donairs are very popular up here in Canada, they are the same as Gyros, just different terms for the same dish - a pita wrapped around spit fired meat topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki, or sweet sauce.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Ziplist.  My newest obsession.
I consider myself a fairly orgainized person nestled equidistant somewhere between Hoarders, Burried Alive and the husband from the movie Sleeping With The Enemy (although I do sometimes face all may canned goods out, lined up perfectly.....and level off the lenghth of my hand towels on the towel rack.  (Sometimes.)).  So I was intrigued by the notion of compiling a shopping list of all my online food finds.

Ziplist is a free online recipe and shopping app/website used to compile recipes and ingredients.  You can install a Ziplist Recipe Clipper  onto your bookmarks toolbar, create an account, and you're good to go.  Now when you are searching online for a recipe, you just click on the clipper and it saves the recipe in your recipe box.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Pomagranate Sangria, Leaded & Unleaded

It's 9:00 A.M. and I'm making Sangria.  Totally normal, right?  I stumbled upon this on Pinterest late one night (the best time to surf).

I had to open a bottle of wine anyway for French Onion Soup............why not Sangria-ize the rest?

I had Blood Oranges to slice and juice, a pear and an apple.....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Year

Although I am sad to see my 2012 Big Lebowski wall calendar go into the recycle bin, it's always exciting to start a fresh one.  Only this year it's a 365 page desk calendar, Doodle Of The Day.  It's the small things in life that amuse me...obviously.

It will probably be mid-March before I get use to writing 2013 on my checks, and by that time I will have perfected the art of changing the 2 into a 3.


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