Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chips! The healthy way (Shhh don't tell anyone)

Got a weekend away at the cottage which was during a heat spell. Lucky us! It made for great weather and great times with family and friends. Being by the lake during the heat wave is the only place I want to be. Basking in the sun, enjoying good food, drinks and great conversation, the time away flew by. Back to reality came too soon and I needed to get back in the garden. Weeds were growing like weeds but the zucchini didn't seem to notice. I've got an entire bushel full of zucchini.
Chips...all for me!
Sorry folks another zucchini post. I don't want to see an ounce of it go to waste so I'm making lasagnas, baked gratins and even loaves to keep using them. Pinterest has tons of pins with chips created from assorted vegetables, zucchini and kale. I've tried the kale chips and wasn't happy with the turn out finding them oily. Zucchini chips seemed only natural and if the chips turn out as good as they look as the pictures; I'm sold! 
I used the recipe from the Naked Kitchen, a fellow blogger that focuses on food simplified. Enjoying the simple pleasures of food is what I'm all about. The recipe called for slicing the zucchini thinly thankfully I had my mandoline to help with this making the chips crispier.
The breading process.

 This recipe was easy to do, its just time consuming having bread the chips. I would definitely do it again because the first batch came out and was gone within an hour. Yep! Guilty as charged. I ate every single one of them. I loaded the next batch up in the oven and became preoccupied which burnt! (insert sad face here) I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a healthy snack.

Find the local farmers market, support farmers and eat well! 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Big ones, small ones..some the size of your head! (or baby)

The days are getting longer and finally we have had some heat. Work is picking up at the restaurant and our garden at work is beginning to share its goodies too! I'm heading up North in a couple of weeks and figured I should try this recipe before I make it for a vacation treat. The recipe was a keeper.

The garden is producing an overwhelming amount of green and yellow zucchini. They are coming in all sizes hence the title of this post. My mother and I have been trying to stay on top of picking them  before they get too big. The big ones aren't nearly as tasty and sweet as the little ones and I HATE having to fight with their seeds. If zucchini is picked before it gets too big you don't have to worry about any seeds at all.

 My favourite (and go-to) recipe with zucchini is lasagna breaded with panko breadcrumbs but since I'm trying new recipes I made zucchini loaf. I needed to lose a much as I could so I grated extra for the freezer for the winter months so that I could make these delicious loaves in the cold winter months. Mom bought a new loaf pan that is the same size as a regular pan but has four mini loaves spaces in it. Its so handy so I can make mini-loaves to share.

This recipe called for just cocoa powder but I added chocolate chips as well to get my chocolate fix! My nieces and nephews had no idea that there was zucchini in their chocolate loaf. Sneaky me. The new and improved Canadian Living cooking website is more aesthetically pleasing and the layout is easier to read when baking. I haven't been let down yet by any of their recipes and this was a crowd pleaser too. Find the recipe at the Canadian Living link above.  

Despite the increasing heat, get in the kitchen, turn on the oven and make this

sinfully chocolatey loaf.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Summer time and feeling fine.

The summer equinox has just passed and so has the first wedding of the season. The garden is coming along quite nicely and find myself showing my partner my little plants that are growing day by day. He laughs and attempts to care about my love for vegetables.
Finished product!

Long days and warm weather means that barbecue season is here. My Dad arrived home yesterday from his current job out east in Newfoundland and like all me, he loves burgers. I made caprese turkey burgers and YUM! These burgers are flavourful and packed with cheesy goodness in the middle. They were a gift from the burger gods. Fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella in every bite made for an extremely satisfying meal every single bite.  

Although the burgers were slightly time consuming to make because every single burger was two patties that had to have the centres stuffed it was totally worth it!  I'll be doing it again so we can stock up the freezer with these tasty alternatives to the traditional beef burger. Found the recipe on Pinterest again from quickfoodrecipes.org. I did not include bacon bits and replaced the ground beef with ground turkey but ground chicken would work well too.

Pull off that barbecue cover, fire up the grill and enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Presto pesto.

Few ingredients make summer fresh pesto.
The rain seems to have subsided for a couple days at least and was able to get in the garden and harvest buckets of basil.

In the past I have attempted at growing herbs from seeds but have had no luck starting them indoors as they get attacked by all kinds of ailments. To make my gardening life a little easier I cheat and buy my basil plants early in the spring and plop them in the ground next to my seeds. Luckily this year the plants were growing like weeds. Who wants to weed when the sun is shining and the pool looks so tempting?!
Blended in a food processor.

I don't want my basil plants to go to seed for two reasons: they slow down growing and tend to make the leaves taste more bitter. I made my first batch of pesto to keep up with the amount of basil this year. Since my tomatoes won't be ready until August caprese salads will have to wait. (insert sad face here) 

Pesto is a great to have on hand once winter comes when we need to be reminded of all of the goodness that summer provides. I use it in pasta, pesto aioli, dressings and to even make fish less fishy.  

I've used Jamie Oliver's recipe without the lemon juice and pour the pesto into ice cube trays or little muffin tins and freeze overnight. I pop them out and store in ziploc bags in the freezer when I need a little summer love in my food. 

Monday, 27 May 2013

We be jammin'

Good news! I have planted the entirety of my garden. It took me several hours and a painful sunburn to get everything in the ground. The day began cool and before I knew it I was peeling off my layers of clothes without applying sunscreen. So for the sake of an entire season of veggies I am currently in pain, soaking in a vat of aloe vera as I write this post. 

Seeds galore.
Strawberries have just begun and I cannot miss the opportunity to make jam from the first fruit of the season. My other, older nieces and nephews love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches especially when they aren't in school. Today kids are allergic to everything including the sun which makes for some sad lunches during the school year without the good ol' PB and J.  

I went to market, bought strawberries and my Mom and I canned until our hearts content. We like to use an easy and super quick recipe  from Canadian Living because it doesn't call for hours of simmering. Who wants to linger around the kitchen with the gorgeous days of summer ahead??

Get growing, fellow food lovers. Plant, jam and enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Welcome landlubber! (An ode to Mila, my little Newfie niece)

Baby Mila 
Baby Mila has arrived and since she is half-Newfie I figured a fish dinner was a fun way to welcome her into this world. 

Mila's grandfather has been a fisherman for his entire life and he has  been fortunate enough to see whales, sea turtles and fish of all kinds, including tuna. 
Local goodness.

Frozen tuna steaks found buried in our freezer and needing to be used became a quick, filling and tasty meal. My mom and I love seafood, we're convinced that we should've been born out East because we love it so much. So thankfully with Mila and Meagan in our lives we will be travelling to the rock frequently.

Using the first of Niagara's asparagus mixed with my baby lettuce leaves from the garden this salad was a warm welcome with all of the rain we've been having this spring. I made a green goddess dressing that I found on Pinterest.....again. It is refreshing, yummy and healthy. Find the recipe here from the Lemon Bowls blog. She has delicious and healthy recipes for all kinds of stuff. Definitely worth a look at if your looking to clean up your eating. 

With BBQ season just around the corner, these steaks would be fantastic done on the grill with a cold one and some good tunes playing by!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Spring has sprung!

Spring is always a rejuvenating time for me.  After a bit of a hiatus I'm back at my blogging and am more excited than a kid in Toys R Us because of my upcoming seed shopping extravaganza!  I know, what 26 year old can't wait to spend a Saturday afternoon at a seed store like Stokes or William Dam Seeds
Garden 2013!
Coming out of the long, dark days of winter I look forward to planning garden this summer. I have been fortunate to discover that there are many people in my generation who are beginning to understand and are curious about gardening for themselves and I am always eager to share my experiences. 

I have planned out my garden plot accordingly and look forward to the upcoming growing season, in the meantime it April has been a busy month. We are anticipating the newest arrival of the family and she is taking her sweet time, deciding to chill outside in my sister-in-law's womb it seems they will have to schedule an induction because baby Mila is in no rush to meet all of us. Also my partner's only sister and dear mother have birthdays back to back and just finishing school I am running short on funds. Naturally I decided to make a meal for them in celebration of their birthdays.

Chocolate brownie Reese's cheesecake was the dessert for my evening with the outlaws. What girls (and guys for that matter) of any age could resist chocolatey, cheesy goodness?  The cake was rich, decadent and delightful, having got the recipe from Pinterest it was easy to make. A little too time consuming for me because I prefer desserts that take no more than an hour to make but it was well worth it. 

Click here for the recipe to this awesome cake. Happy Birthday Laurie and Amber!