Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mmmm..... Affogato

Canadian maple gelato with essssspresssoooo!

Amazing is what I call it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Edmonton's Tres Carnales Taqueria

Are you wondering about that last photo I posted on the go?

Well... wonder no more.  There is this tiny little restaurant downtown that we went to on Saturday night.  Tres Carnales Taqueria is (and I will quote their website) "an authentic street food joint" with tons of personality, flair, great food and of course, cold Coronas!

If you are looking for a quiet dinner experience ... this is not the place BUT... if you are looking for a super fun and unique dinner experience this IS the place.

I had the Al Pastor - 4 little tacos of marinated slow roasted pork.  You may think 4 little tacos... but honestly with the amazing Guac and house made chips it is a complete meal that you and your jeans can feel good about.  Perfect portion sizes and as I mentioned before, cold Coronas. The photo attached here is the paper cone that the house made chips are in. Such a cool looking stamp.

I can't forget to mention the hospitality.  As it was a Saturday night there was a line up but who minds waiting for this kind of food and especially when you are treated as well as we were in line!?!
Thanks Tres Carnales!

This is a bit of a weird tangent for me... raving about a restaurant but really it was that good.  :)  Maybe this will spark a habit...?  I still really love cooking and blogging about my cooking.
Who knows.  We'll have to see.

I am now buried deep under my cookbooks searching for the perfect Christmas cookie recipe.
See you in the kitchen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A taco massacre

Taqueria tres carnales

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chia Seeds

On Pinterest I saw these delicious looking energy balls (Originally posted on Pinterest by Smashed Peas and Carrots blog) and I thought... I can make those with my own twist!

Yes, even snack foods get to be served in Sophie.

So here is my twist; because someone (you know who you are... B!) doesn't like coconut I had to replace it with something.  And something healthy too, why not try Chia Seeds!  Healthy and a great source of omega 3s, maybe even better than coconut.

Here is my version of the recipe.
1 1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients together, heat peanut butter, honey and vanilla until it is almost runny.
Combine wet onto dry and mix well.  Form into 1" balls and chill.

They are a tasty little snack that gives us a bit of energy to get through the last part of the work day.
Tomorrow I will be trying this at 2pm!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Day of Harvest

Seeing that snow is starting to come into the forecast I thought it would be nice to see one last bit of summer. 

This year was amazing for our tomato crop. I have no idea how or why but this was the tomato year and we are not complaining! Just eating lots of tomatoes. 

And I am still trying to find new and exciting recipes for our bumper crop of tomatoes. 

The tiny ones in the smaller bowl are called Red Currant Tomatoes, they are the size of a large pea and have more flavour than any tomato I have ever tasted.  A bit of a pain to pick as the plant was laden with hundreds of tiny tomatoes.  The Yellow Pear tomatoes that are shown in the larger bowl are sweet with a thin tender skin, wonderful in salads.  In that same bowl there are the Honey Bee yellow tomatoes, these are the sweetest tomatoes that I have ever tasted.  A thicker skin than the Yellow Pear but even sweeter.  They are amazing slow roasted as the sugars caramelize and the juices run out to make a beautiful sauce.  As well there are a few orange ones they are the Sweet Orange tomatoes, and their name is exactly what they are.  One of the best things about having so many small tomatoes is that when you are out to water or just to check the garden there are always a handful of tomatoes to snack on.  They are the ultimate healthy snack! 

A question you may have is... what do I use as a fertilizer?  None.  The only reason for this is I never remember to actually fertilize. I have a good tomato fertilizer but the garden hose or a bucket dipped in the rain barrel is so much more convenient.  We do have a great compost bin that creates beautiful 'black gold' that we put on the garden in the spring as we are turning the soil over to prepare for planting but other than that it is just daily watering and talking to the plants.  I know that does sound a little crazy but it works as you can see. :)  

Enough tomato talk for now, I need to look for more garden fresh tomato recipes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Green Beauties

Would you just look at these green tomatoes... amazing is what I would call them.

Recently on GOOP ( there was a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.  (Thanks C!)

It was quite an adventure, a little messy but well worth it.

Here is the battering station.  I refuse to deep fry in the house so we put the side burner on the BBQ to good use.

Start with seasoned flour.  Move on to egg and buttermilk and the last step is a mixture of cornmeal and panko bread crumbs.

Cornmeal and Panko bread crumbs give a great crust with lots of satisfying crunch.

The end result was a great new way to have tomatoes.  There was a slight 'lemony' flavour but there was no lemon in the recipe.  Weird... I know.  It's just the bright, acidic flavours of the unripe tomatoes.  Delicious is what I call it. 

Something fun and different to try.  And don't knock it until you actually try it.  You could be surprised.

That's all for now!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Summertime Snack

The Ingredients:
White nectarine - diced
Mango - diced
A drizzle of anise flavoured honey
A spoonful of creme fraiche
A sprinkling of cinnamon

The Setup:
A warm sunny afternoon
A nice patch of grass (with no Mosquitos!)

Mix together and sit back to enjoy!

Warning: may cause laziness or drowsiness. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cherries and a wood burning cook stove

So here I am sitting in front of a very hot wood burning cook stove (at the cabin) making dessert with my master baker (aka mom!).  Dessert tonight is cherry crisp.  Apple crisp is a bit more common but cherry is a favourite of ours.  We are using Evans cherries picked from the garden, that start out in a juicy sauce that thickens on the stove top. The base to the crisp is the standard oats, brown sugar, a bit of flour and butter of course!  And it all comes together perfectly in the dry heat of a wood burning cook stove. 

The recipe is pretty easy... 
Make a sauce with the cherry juice and a bit of corn starch and sugar.  Allow to simmer until thick and set aside.
Mix together brown sugar, oats, flour and melted butter. 
Pat some of the crumb mixture into the bottom if the pan and top with the cherries and thickened sauce. Top all of this with the remainder of the crumb mixture.
Bake at 350-375 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. Just watch the crisp in the oven and it is done when it is bubbling around the edges and the top crumbs are nice and golden.
Allow to cool and enjoy with heavy cream, ice cream or just plain.  If you like your cherries really sweet you could even top it with creme fraiche to help counterbalance the sweetness!

Here are the photos...

Cold cherry juice with corn starch and sugar heating till thickened


Assembly time...

Adding the third layer, more crumbs!

Baked till golden and bubbly

And now after all that I think I need a little taste of said cherry crisp and a cup of tea...
See you all in the kitchen!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A warm and cozy soup

It's a cold and blustery day... Soup for dinner I say!

There is my rhyme time and now about our soup. There has been much talk if this Pho soup, and being the adventure seeking chef I just have to try it. Very simple, delicious and it is healthy! Low in fat and salt. Read carefully as this next part is very complicated. **wink, wink!**

For enough soup to serve 2 follow this: Shred the beef very thin *this is very important as the hot broth must cook the meat. Thinly slice carrots, celery, broccoli and green onion and set aside. For the noodles you could use any quick cooking thin noodle, have these ready in the bowls. Heat approximately 6 cups of homemade beef stock to a gentle boil, add in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and the same amount of fish sauce. Once the broth is at a rolling boil quickly ladle it over the dry noodles, pile the shredded beef over the noodles and top with the vegetables. You can garnish with drizzle of soya sauce and some fresh chopped cilantro. Be sure to plunge the meat and the vegetables into the hot broth and enjoy!

Sorry there are no photos- we were enjoying the soup so much that we didn't think to do a photo shoot! Maybe next time as this was a favourite soup.

You should try this soup, there are tons of different modifications that one could do. You could add in shrimp, or what about fish instead of beef? Fish stock instead of beef stock? Or even vegetable stock could be a nice alternative. There is almost no limit!

I think next weeks menu is calling for one of these delicious variations.

That is all for now, see you in the kitchen!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Testing a new way to post on the go

So I thought it could be so much fun to be able to post 'on the go'! Can't you see it now... In the cheese line at the Italian centre, picking out fresh ingredients at the farmers market! My options are endless now.

And maybe even with new and exciting pictures too? I have attached a picture of our new years fondue for official test purposes and to give you a nice visual.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Soup that made my day!

So I felt like making soup today for dinner.  What do I have in the fridge...?  Carrots, acorn squash, onions, home made chicken stock and ham sausage; and what all does this make?!?

A fantastic soup!  First I roasted the carrots, squash and onion for about 1 hour.  Meanwhile I minced the ham sausage (you could use bacon or even deli ham or any smoked meat) and pan fried it to give it crispy edges.  Once the carrots and squash were all sweet and roasted I pureed them in the stock.  Mince the onion and add it along with the crispy ham sausage.  Something to remember is that once pureed the soup may get very thick, so add a bit more stock until it is the desired consistency.  Add in a few fresh herbs; I made a mixture of garlic, parsley, oregano and tarragon (carrots best friend).  Season with fresh pepper and sea salt and serve with a bit of toasted whole grain bread.

It was so good I ate it all before I could even take picture!  Really, do you want to see an empty bowl?  There is nothing left - I was almost, almost tempted to lick the bowl clean it was the good.  (but I didn't do that.)

I know you really want to see my empty bowl so here it is... It was that good.

So that was Monday night dinner.  Mmmmmmm.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holiday Breakfasts

This holiday season has been nice and relaxing, complete with lazy breakfasts.
In the pan waiting for the oven to heat
I recently found a new cinnamon bun recipe that can be as complex as you wish it to be.  In other words you could make it simple by using pre made croissant dough or more complex by making your own pastry.  We opted for the easy route on pre made croissant dough - after all it was New Years Day and we were not really feeling up to making our own croissant pastry.  They turned out quite well, next time I would not coat them in the extra cinnamon sugar.  These would be a fun treat to make with kids of all ages - Tim this is for you!  The original recipe I found here;

And this is how mine turned out.  As you can see here I added a bit of lemon zest for a bright contrast against the sweet cinnamon & sugar.
Hot and fresh

The next breakfast that I created was baked eggs.  I have seen quite a few recipes for these as they are a popular breakfast item for a house full of guests during the holidays.  They are quite simple and very easy to make with whatever you have in the fridge.  We had breakfast sausages as the surprise inside.
All it takes is the following;
Individual baking dishes well buttered - I used my French Onion soup pots as I was concerned with the depth but usually they are made in ramekins. For more delicate baked eggs use a shallower baking dish.
A surprise in the bottom of each pot - this could be chopped bacon (cooked), sliced sausage (cooked), chevre and herbs, or grated cheese.
Crack your eggs into each pot - we did 2 eggs each with a little extra egg white and a splash of cream.
Top with salt & pepper and bake for 7 to 15 minutes.  The baking time will depend on how deep your pots are.  And you will need to watch them as the egg yolks should be a bit runny so you can dip toast fingers in it!

This is a wonderful breakfast treat for everyone.

So with one more lazy holiday morning I must begin to dream up my next breakfast delight.  I am off to my cookbook library for inspiration.

That is all for now, see you in the kitchen.