Recap: Goodfood #17

Goodfood

Time for last week’s Goodfood recap!

Shrimp Sushi Bowl
with Seared Edamame, Cucumber & Carrots

Shrimp Sushi Bowl

Shrimp Sushi Bowl was the meal I looked forward to the most in this box. Everything worked pretty well. Making the carrots was a bit of a pain but it still tasted fairly decent. However,  there’s something that just didn’t seem to be absolutely awesome. Although, my favorite part is the seared edamames. Oh boy, those were so tasty. I would definitely try to see where I can find it soon and sear some to eat.

Honey-Dijon Chicken
with Zuchinni Slaw & Orzo

honey dijon chicken

Orzo and Chicken and honey-dijon are all super awesome for this meal. I didn’t try out the zucchini slaw since I don’t eat raw foods but my husband liked it quite a bit for the freshness and the crunchy taste of everything. The best part of this meal was how simple it was to make. It estimated about 20 minutes and did take about 30 minutes for myself since I’m slow at grating food. It just hows how recipes don’t need to be over complicated to taste good.

Roasted Chicken Thighs
with Root Vegetables & Fennel Slaw

roasted chicken thighs

Double chicken menus are always welcome in our household. When its a one pan solution, it gets even better. The only deal here was that I had put the lemon juice on the dish at the end and boy was it overpowering the dish. Maybe it was because I let it sit too long before eating it for lunch. However, it still worked well for what it was. The spices were really good and it had a nice balance between veggies and meat. I’ve realized that this is one of the few ways I do enjoy eating fennel so this one is a decent win.

Mosto Cotto-Glazed Pork Chops
with Millet, Kohlrabi & Dried Cranberry Salad

mosto cotto-glazed pork chops

The final meal of the box was the one that we weren’t too sure about. We do love pork chops but didn’t really know what Mosto Cotto is. However, this one turned out quite tasty. The millet, kohlrabi and dried cranberry salad turned out to be pretty good as well with a nice crunch. My husband wanted more walnuts but the balance was all there. This was a good meal also.

Overall, this box was pretty good. It didn’t have anything that particularly blew our minds but a lot of the flavors were there and it was all fairly efficient meals. Ticks the boxes I like about getting these boxes. Some new ingredients that we’ve never tried out also which is also part of the experience and why we keep getting it.

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My Weekly Adventures #63 What’s Up Revival!

My Weekly Adventures

Nothing much happened in the last two weeks. Just some quick and easy stuff to go through!

Meals with Friends

Jack Saloon

Easter weekend was an eventful one. For one, it was my birthday. On Monday when I got back to work, lets just say it was really stressful in an eventful way also. My husband however had the week off and decided to hang out with some friends and we went out for dinner at Jack Saloon’s. Its been years since we’ve gone there and I went back to get a pulled pork sandwich. I can’t say it was as great as when I had it a few years back though. It was still pretty good but not quite like I remembered it. However, the company was spectacular and entertaining so that is what matters.

Marshmallow WandsThen the weekend afterwards happened. If you missed it, Battle of Ingredients also happened. You can find the post HERE. I made a few veggie dishes and this easy marshmallow wand dessert.

Le Cartet

As per tradition, one of my good friends took me out for breakfast. I need to spend some time to research a new breakfast place to go to but this place called Le Cartet in Old Montreal is just so delicious. This is called Le Canton or something like that and its absolutely delicious. I love it to actual bits. It also is quite filling so I really only have this for my birthday breakfast. Next year though, I’ll figure out somewhere else to try.

Kickstarter Rewards

Its been a week of rewards coming back. The first came in the mail just as I was looking through Twitter and saw a lot of people already received it but I hadn’t yet just to get home and find it in the mailbox. tis the Wayward Sister Anthology. TO Comics is now one of my favorite comics. I backed this project just because I had read one of their books and loved it so much. I recently also backed another one of their projects. I’m hoping to get to this one after my mountain of books and commitments are done, which might take a month but I’ll get there. When I need a change in palette, I go for comics/graphic novels.

Second reward I got back was for The Black Gloves, which is a film from the director of Lord of Tears, which was the first project I backed of his on Kickstarter. The review is HERE if you don’t know about the movie. Wow, 2013 movie and five years later and I’m now about to back his 4th film project (as soon as I work out some finances). I still have to review the last two films but Laurie Brewster (the director mentioned) has such a great eye for horror. Its a little odd and awkward but I love the tone that he sets and the atmosphere and just how he puts it together. Anyways, I know that he wrote that The Black Gloves is now available on Amazon so here’s the link if you want to check it out.

Snapchat Fun

My husband’s family loves to play around with Snapchat. I never quite got into it until recently..and boy was that a can of worms I did not need to open. It is pretty adorable and cute..the filters, not me. I’m not too into my own selfies so posting that kind of took some confidence. These posts is about what I’ve been discovering in life. I tell you, this Snapchat thing is quite hilarious, especially when its not for myself like the one below.

What’s Up Revival

It seems I have so many announcements in these things that I lose track of what is brewing up in my head! Anyways, this is the final one for a while. As I try to expand more content on my own Youtube channel since there’s no unboxing right now and its just sitting dormant, I decided that I’ll be reviving the What’s Up segment as a video format. That way, I can recap on films that I’ve seen and for those of you who subscribe, it’ll be an earlier capsule of things I’ve seen and usually an earlier short opinion of it. I’m about to film the first one soon (like tonight) so depending on the length since I usually go through movies and games and TV series, I might cut them into different segments to go up on different days of the week since I don’t want any part to be more than 10 minutes. I mean, who has more than 10 minutes to sit there and watch or listen to me ramble about these things, right?

I do want to eventually expand to some vlog stuff or opinion pieces and random thoughts but I never seem to have any recording stuff with me whenever I’m in those situations. I’m going to work it into my schedule slowly and we’ll get there. 🙂

Yet again, if there are any topics or whatnot that you have suggestions for what would be interesting content for the Youtube channel, suggest away in the comments and I’ll give it all a thought. I miss the days when I took recommendations for movies. It helped me credit others in this wonderful community.

Cute Kitty Pic

 

Battle of Ingredients #7: Easter/Spring Edition

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next Battle of Ingredients. My co-host Starry Traveler Phoebe and I gathered this time with friends for a little Easter/Spring celebration.

Heres what we did!

Wine

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Tonight’s wine from our friends is the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. It was light and sweet. A more in depth talk will be in the wine recap next month.

Main Meals

Lamb Chops – Phoebe

Lamb Chops

Phoebe gets the big task of taking care of the meat dish this time around. We did research and realized that Easter usually revolves around ham or lamb and after some talk, she decided to take on making lamb chops. They were marinated and topped with salt and various herbs. It took about 2 hours to cook in the oven.

This one turned out pretty good. It wasn’t cooked through but I’ve had chops before and they usually aren’t plus it was marinated and seasoned just enough to have a lovely taste.

Ratatouille – Kim

Ratatouille

Recipe via Pinterest: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5312-ratatouille?epik=0DYovE_IWH0tx

Trying out a quick one pot ratatouille this time as our primary vegetable dish. I followed the recipe above fairly closely. Eggplants aren’t in season right now so they were hard to find good ones. So the portion for that was a little less. However, this ratatouille was both easy to make and tasted pretty good. I may have overcooked it a little and it would have benefited from having some pasta or something to serve with. In comparison to the original, I think I skimped out on diced tomatoes a little. Everything’s a learning curve and I certainly had fun making this one and would try it again particularly using a pot this time instead of a pan since there is a lot of vegetables to add in so it started getting a little crowded and that affected the cooking time.

The better version would be to slice everything thinly and then organize it and pop it into the oven to cook. Perhaps a future trial.

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes – Kim

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe: https://veganinthefreezer.com/dairy-free-herbed-scalloped-potatoes/

Next up is something of a side thing which was the scalloped potatoes. I recently made scalloped potatoes for a Goodfoods box and thought about it for this meal as a dairy-free style and found the recipe above on Pinterest. Scalloped Potatoes were done in the afternoon in advance as to free up the oven space and then reheated. We used a mandoline to quicken the process. We used some unsweetened almond milk (unfortunately, I only had the vanilla flavor) and we took a chance with it to see if it would affect the taste. It did still have a slight vanilla flavor which felt a little weird but overall, the texture is still there. I’d redo this one with the herbs (as the recipe above indicated but I didn’t have any this time around) and also with some unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. We only ended up with one portion left over so I’d say it had a decent result.

Dessert

Marshmallow Wands – Kim

Marshmallow Wands

Recipe: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/springtime-marshmallow-wands/

The ideas I went through for the dessert was numerous but with the two dishes above, I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went with these springtime marshmallow wands which is basically skewering three marshmallows and then coating them with dark chocolate and adding sprinkles then letting the chocolate harden. Its times like these that I wish I knew how to temper chocolate before coating it so that it would have that lovely crunch when you bit into it. Anyways, I am still learning and these did turn out really great. I know that the coating could have been better but I learned a lot from this recipe as simple as it may seem. Marshmallows and dark chocolate is just yummy! It is a little on the sweet side so I only made enough so everyone had one.

This wraps up this Easter/Spring edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Not quite sure what is next one but might be a spring Farmer’s Market edition for 2018.
Its still in discussion right now 😉

Do you celebrate Easter and what foods do you make?

Breakfast Recipe: Bacon and Egg Hash

We love breakfast food. I don’t think I can explain how much we actually love it. Its probably why you see breakfast food recipes where we just eat it for dinner as well. Breakfast style dinners are just fantastic. Anyways, with that said, I wanted to try something different for my husband’s birthday brunch since we’re quite traditionalists so we go with the separate bowls of bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs and potatoes. However, I’d had breakfast casseroles and skillets and hashes and have loved it a lot so I went hunting on Pinterest for one that I liked which was relatively simple to make.

Then I came across this recipe: https://cafedelites.com/cheesy-bacon-and-egg-hash/

And of course, its me so I modified the portions and some little bits here and there and came out with this:

breakfast hash

Bacon and Egg Hash

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
Bacon (I used about 4-5 strips)
4 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped
2 large eggs
Pepper to season

How to make it

  1. Dice potatoes in 3/4 inch cubes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a skillet pan or an oven pan. Spray with a light coating of cooking oil spray.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Mixing them once halfway through cooking time.
  5. Remove from the oven, add the bacon and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and make two wells in the hash, crack the egg into each well and sprinkle the garlic around the eggs and over the potatoes.
  7. Put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the eggs have been cooked to your preference.
  8. Remove from oven. Season with some pepper if desire and serve immediately

This is definitely  more than an inspiration. I honestly needed a recipe that would tell me the temperature to bake it in and yet again, I worked with what I had. We ran out of green scallions so I used garlic. I actually used a little too much but we love garlic here so its not a big deal for us. This is for a 2 person portion since we exactly had 3 potatoes left. Either way, this breakfast hash turned out pretty good. We also did remove the cheese but thats because we never do cheese on dishes since I’m lactose intolerant. My husband ended up sprinkling some shredded cheese on there afterwards to taste.

These meals are fairly straight forward and you can technically put anything you’d like that cooks fairly quickly. The efficiency of breakfast food is one of the reasons we like to make it on a lazy Sunday morning (evening). It was pretty tasty since it didn’t even need salt with the bacon already having the salt to season everything around it. It turned out pretty good. The potatoes weren’t as crispy as I had wanted but if you use a wider pan or skillet (which I couldn’t find), it will do the job. The single layer potatoes are the key here for having it crispier.

I have improvements I’ll work on for next time but overall, this breakfast hash turned out pretty good. 🙂

Goodfood Recap#16

Goodfood

Last week’s Goodfood box was quite a few cool menus and the first time we went with a repeat. We actually love the menu so much that we forgot to take the picture again before chomping it all down. Either way, we took the picture from the last time we cooked  the meal. We will talk more about it.

Let’s check out last week’s meals!

Marinated Salmon & Noodle Stir-fry
with Yuzu Sauce, Baby Bok Choy & Snow Peas

Marinated Salmon

We always opt for fish dishes when we can since fish in general is so expensive to buy. This one turned it pretty well. Its a stir-fry so already guaranteed to be pretty simple to put together. The preparation wasn’t too long either and it was just a bit stir together in the pan when all the elements were done. We always love the added sesame seeds to a dish. It adds a nice little bit texture to the dish. I can’t say I love this recipe but it definitely wins on being easy to put together. Its always great to learn what ingredients to put together a nice little stir-fry and this one is a solid choice (especially since there was recently a sale on salmon and we have some frozen and to be eaten soon).

Ancho Chicken Taco
with Beet-Cabbage Slaw & Toasted Pepitas

ancho chicken tacos

My husband apparently doesn’t know how to put together a taco and assembled a quesadilla resemblance thing here and ate it like a sandwich. I only took a bite from this meal since I had some other food that I needed to eat but from the bite, its a pretty decent meal even if its not wrapped into a taco style. Its fairly simple to put in and didn’t take too much time. I’m not sure about the ancho part of the thing though but thats just my personal preference. My husband absolutely loved it.

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich
with Sundried Tomato Hummus

ratatouille sandwich

The repeat meal of our box goes to this fantastically delicious vegetarian sandwich called the Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich. Its packed with flavors from the sweet peppers to the tangy cherry tomatoes and then rounded off with a sundried tomato hummus. Its really a lovely sandwich. The last time was actually my husband who put together a lot of it and this time, I took my shot at it until I went to toast the buns and then burnt them a little. Still, its one that I’d definitely make again. Its truly fantastically delicious!

Peanut Butter Dumplings
with Sesame Green Beans

peanut butter dumplings

The recipe says that I wasn’t supposed to fold the dumplings this way but this is the way I know how to fold them since I was little so I kept to my own methods. My husband did the cooking and didn’t read the instructions very well for the dumplings so ended up pan-frying all sides when it was supposed to fry at the bottom then steam in the pan to cook the dumpling wrapper. Either way, it still tasted really great. Other than the vegetarian filling taste really awesome, the peanut butter sauce was super delicious. We actually loved it so much that we kept the leftover and cooked some veggies with it the next day and it turned out really well since the peanut butter dissolves pretty much but the taste retains itself. I loved this one a lot.

Overall, this box turned out very good. Two vegetarian meals and both of them were my faves in this box.

Dinner: One Pan Chicken & Veggies

My baking and foods section is now primarily dominated by Battle of Ingredients and Goodfood recaps and that is generally the moments in life I try new things. But, this past weekend was my husband’s birthday so since we’ve had a lot of expenses (and I did buy him more than usual Boxing Day hauls), I took it simple and took care of all the cooking this weekend. We did have some other experiences where we had to finish up leftovers from the week and went out with friends, but I ended up trying out three new recipes and this first one was a simple and efficient dinner meal: One Pan Chicken & Veggies.

One Pan Chicken & Veggies

One Pan Chicken and Veggies

Original recipe used as guidance via Pinterest: https://natashaskitchen.com/2015/11/23/one-pan-chicken-and-vegetables-recipe/

Ingredients

3 pieces boneless chicken thighs, sliced in thirds
1 tsp Piri Piri spices
1.5 lbs baby potatoes, halved
1 lb Nantes carrots, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chicken thighs with the piri piri spices. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate while preparing the vegetables.
  3. Take a large cookie sheet and line with aluminum foil (or parchment paper and if you don’t mind the mix, you can just grease the pan with oil). Combine veggies in a medium (or large) bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss. You can also toss in the lined cookie sheet with your hands, its your preference and saves on an extra bowl to wash. Pour the veggies into the cookie sheet, parting them in half so the middle third of the pan is reserved for the chicken.
  4. Take the chicken from out of the fridge and place it down the center of the cookie sheet in the reserved place mentioned before.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then take it out to turn the veggies and the chicken and put back for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure your chicken is cooked through, to be sure the internal temperature should reach 165F and juices run clear.

We definitely changed up the recipe from the original quite a bit. I needed a recipe really to figure out around what temperature to bake the whole pan at and for how long. Chicken is one of the meats you can’t eat raw so that was pretty important. This is a very simple meal and you can switch the spices around to what you like and use whatever veggies you like. In my opinion, potatoes and carrots are pretty tough to cook through so other veggies should turn it decent. We also make zucchini in a pan on the side as well since we needed to it those. It saves on dishes and is a simple preparation and cooking method which leaves time to take care of the dishes you worked with during the time (unless you have a dishwasher) and do other things during the wait time. I don’t think its necessary to turn the veggies and the chicken but I wanted to make sure that it would cook well on both sides. The chicken turns out very tender and not dry at all. I honestly improv-ed a lot of the dish so the spices and S&P quantity in the ingredient list might be a little off.

Have you tried One-Pan meals?
What do you like to cook?

Toronto 2018: Meals Recap!

Toronto is the closest haven for good Asian food. Of course, after last year’s success with Asian Legend for Drew, I started thinking up some spots to go to already. There were some changes in plans but in general, it all tastes pretty awesome and we had a few nice chats and some great drinks.

Lets check out where and what we ate!

Day 1 Dinner: Kinton Ramen, Markham

Kinton Ramen

Hogtown Ale, Sake Mojito and Bamboo

Kinton Ramen

Chicken Ramen

On the day we arrived in Toronto and even the day after, we had still some snowfall and what beats winter like eating some hot ramen. It helps that my husband was so excited to go. And when we got there and they had the whole Yakuza game soundtrack sort of music blasting, it was super good for everyone’s mood.

Day 2: Moxie’s Grill and Bar at CF Fairview

Moxie's

Moxie's

Starters: Sushi Cones

Moxie's

Half rack ribs

Hunger after a long day at the zoo and then some shopping took us to a more convenient location at the mall. We have had Moxie’s before in Markham and Vancouver and both experiences either left us with a sour taste from bad service or kind of average food for the price tag. The one at this Fairview mall however gets a thumbs up in both categories. It had some delicious food and pretty decent drinks.

Day 3: Korean Grill House in Markham

Korean Grill House

Cherry Blossom (Gin + Orange Juice)

Korean Grill House

Special Bibimbap (Spicy)

Korean Grill House

Chicken Bibimbap

The original plan was to do the whole Korean grill experience since my  husband hasn’t tried it before but since we were all fairly tired after EGLX, we ended up just going with some bibimbap. I personally love it a lot but wasn’t feeling quite as hungry so just took the chicken bibimbap. In the afterthought, I probably should have gotten beef but it still tasted fantastic. There was a choice to add on the spicy sauce but I didn’t take any. My husband on the other hand took the special bibimbap which had chicken, shrimp and beef and also added in one spoon of the spicy sauce.

Day 4 Brunch: Ding Tai Fung Restaurant

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Soup-filled Steam Dumplings

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Rice

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Pork Buns

To wrap things up, we went for a lovely little brunch at Ding Tai Fung for a little dim sum. Of course, there was no denying the soup-filled steamed dumplings because they are my faves. We also ordered a few other dumplings and such from the menu as well as a fried rice to wrap it all up. Everything still takes very good. I haven’t been here in 2 to 3 years and its nice to see the food quality still very much the way I remembered it.

Overall, a great foodie trip (as much as it was everything else)! 
We had some nice chats and tried some nice cocktails and beers.
Awesome company usually makes it even better!

Toronto still has lots of great food that we’re going to be trying out soon (or next year)!
The recap of our two main highlights of the trip are coming up!