Monday, March 29, 2010

Do you know what a Lobster Thermidore is?

Well I do and it is delicious!  Tonight I went to a cooking class at Sun Terra Market (thank you Janet - it was such a wonderful experience, I enjoyed every mouthful!), it was all about seafood and delicious seafood at that.  So in the near future you will be reading about my new seafood recipes, anything from warm and cozy comfort food like Lobster Macaroni and Cheese to Fresh Clams and Chorizo Sausage with Red Peppers and Potatoes (but I think I may substitute chick peas for the potatoes).  These were two of the dishes that we learnt how to prepare and then they were enjoy with a wonderful glass of wine. Which I have to tell you about too.  It was Wirra Wirra - an Australian Red blend; Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.  A wonderful red wine with all the classic red wine characteristics - smooth and buttery, full bodied and deep rich flavour all the way through.  This is something to look for in the future. 

It is late now so I wish you happy days in the kitchen!


ps, soon you will read about our delicious Salmon bake that we had on the weekend, but there was only time to do one post tonight, more for you to read tomorrow!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's a Birthday Party!

And the foodie theme was Pecan Praline.  We had Pecan Praline ice cream and Butter Pecan cupcakes complete with home made candied pecans.  Here are the pics.
I have recently found this delicious chocolate bar, and you can guess the flavour! You guessed it - Pecan Praline. Creamy and 'pecan-y' and that was part of the garnish.  So now we have both a soft and creamy garnish and a nutty and crunchy garnish.  Nice balance.

There is this brilliant way of serving ice cream. (Check out for other exciting hosting ideas)  A few hours before or even the night before scoop the ice cream into paper muffin liners and re-freeze.  Then at cake serving time all you have to do is serve up each paper liner, no messy ice cream scoops to deal with at all.  It maybe a little extra work before the party starts but well worth it later on.  And best of all if you are doing this by yourself it is a breeze so you can look like the brilliant hostess that you are.  Easy as pre-served ice cream.  Whoever thought of this one... brilliant!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Salsiccia Cacciatore Cappo

Don't worry if you can't pronounce that or even if you have no idea what it is... because believe me I had no idea any of that until tonight.  It is this very interesting sausage that I found at the Italian Centre.  When I unwrapped it from its brown paper it was hard and slightly oily with a very 'corn-y' scent (according to Tanner).  So what can I do with this new sausage?  Corn... Tomatoes... Spanish I thought.  Salsa, tomatoes, corn (obviously), grated cheddar cheese and lime zest.  And let me tell you... it was delicious!  Big robust flavours of the sausage paired well with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the lime zest gave it a wonderful  brightness.  Served with baked corn chips which kept it paired with the corn flavour.  This one has to go down in the books as an innovative winner.

I just made it up with what I had in the fridge, I had a little bit of salsa, a few tomatoes, a lime and that is how it all came together.  Take this as inspiration for you to look in your fridge and just make it up.  Or as the saying can go... fly by your apron strings.

Until next time... go and experiment in the kitchen!   Trust me, it'll be good.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life doesn't only happen in the Kitchen

The days are getting longer, the days are getting warmer and the snow is packing it's bags.  In other words... Spring is just around the corner or maybe it is here!

So in celebration of spring I have to promote a contest that I have entered and for me to try and win this one I need your help!!!!  Here are the details; go to and find my blog entry.  What I need you to do is view and comment on my submission!  The deal is the more views and comments that I get it will give me a better chance at winning.  You will see all the details on the website but here is the low down - the winner gets a chance to write a blog on the Canadian Gardening website for 6 months plus a $500 cash prize!  You must write at minimum 1 post per week at minimum 100 words (as you read my long posts here you will realize that I have no trouble with word count!) Sounds fun and easy to me!  And who doesn't want to read about my gardening adventures?!?

You will notice that I have a different approach to this contest; as many of you know that I am a new-ish gardener with not a lot of experience and I feel that there are so many websites and magazines out there that give great gardening advice but it is directed towards gardeners who have both year of experience and established plants and yards.  Some of this information can be either overwhelming or not even applicable to our growing zone!  As well there are many of these websites and magazines are written either out on the West Coast or somewhere in Eastern Canada, two climates that are so very different than Alberta.  So my approach to my blog on Canadian Gardening is to provide information directed towards new gardeners who live on the Prairies where we struggle with low levels of humidity, short summers and long cold winters.  In short we have grow things a little differently here.

I really hope that you head over to the Canadian Gardening website and leave me lots of comments to help me win the contest.  It is something different and super exciting for me to do this summer.

Until next time

this was mid summer of 2008 - we were just starting the flower gardens

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's the Secret Ingredients in Lasagna?

So I went for groceries this week and bought Mascarpone cheese... that means that lasagna is on the menu this week.  My lasagna is sweet with a rich tomato-y flavour and soft and creamy.  It all starts with ground meat (I used Moose meat tonight - it's low in fat) browned with caramelized onions.  Add in minced peppers, garlic, and chopped tomatoes simmer together for 3 or 4 minutes.  Gently stir in one can of tomato paste, some red wine (as much as you feel it needs or about 1 cup) and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  Once the sauce is at the right consistency reduce heat to low and add in mascarpone cheese.  Allow the sauce to heat through at a very gentle simmer.

For the lasagna noodles I will always use regular pasta that you need to boil.  The ready to bake noodles are terrible - too crunchy and cardboard-ish!  It only takes a very big pot of boiling water and a few minutes to have perfect noodles.  In the same amount of time that it takes to prepare the filling the noodles are boiled and cooled and ready for assembly.

After a quick assembly and 15 minutes in the oven to bake and make the the cheese all gooey and soft we had gourmet lasagna on the table in under 45 minutes!  It's as easy as that!  Anyone can do it.  Trust me.

Until next time... see you in the kitchen.

ps, sorry there's no pictures today... you'll have to use your imagination or better yet make it yourself!