Goodfood Recap #39

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood. Its been probably about a month. This is definitely back to a monthly basis at this point. This time’s picks are fairly summery in my opinion, at least getting into the more warm weather foods that we tend to learn towards. There are some repeats and some that feel like a little twist added to something we’ve done before.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Boil
with Summer Corn, Roasted Potatoes & Green Salad

shrimp boil

As always, seafood meals kick off the Goodfood meals. This time, we start with our repeat meal. The last time we had this, I believe my husband made it so it was a new experience for myself. Other than the fact that I’d love to know how you break corn into 3 parts (my husband says the cleaver is how to do it) by hand, this meal was pretty good. The shrimp was nice and its pretty simple to put together. It has a few steps to it like boiling the corn and potato first before putting it in the oven with the shrimp. The sauce that they say to make with a butter base (which I replaced with margarine since we don’t have butter at home) was really delicious. The green salad also had a good oil-based dressing to it and was a refreshing side.

Glazed Korean Chicken Lettuce Cups
with Sticky Rice & Carrot Salad

glazed korean chicken lettuce cups

My favorite meal of this meal kit goes to this recipe. I’m always a big fan of the Asian foods here. They usually are pretty decent. Its been a while since I’ve tried some lettuce cups and such although I did end up eating it all separately in the end. However, the chicken is really good although it takes some attention. At the same time, the carrot salad is a bit like preserved style so has this sour flavor to it but it matches really well to balance out the flavors here. Plus, the sticky rice is one of the fave parts of these meals whenever it appears since I don’t buy Calrose rice but I definitely should just to be able to eat more sticky rice, not to mention the sauce the blends in with it from the chicken is just delicious.

Curried Tofu
with Coconut Rice, Roasted Vegetables & Thai Basil Salsa Verde

Curried Tofu

Tofu meals are usually hit and miss for us however we keep trying them out because its a good source of meatless protein and its always nice to add a vegetarian option every once in a while when we get a chance. While I can’t say the tofu itself was anything great (I’m not a fan of the extra firm tofu), the curried sauce was pretty good. The roasted vegetables are also pretty good and the thai basil salsa verde was also surprisingly a good addition to add some different flavors to the meal.

Beef & Shiitake Burgers
with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

beef & shiitake Burgers

Burger choices are normally for my husband because he likes trying now types of burgers. This menu feels familiar and yet also feels like a past one we have had but maybe with changes. I can’t quite remember right now. It was a pretty good one although, I have never had uncooked bok choy so was a bit skeptical and after this, learned that I prefer it cooked. It is somewhat of a messy burger so I ate it all separately. Everyrhing was alright except note to self, with miso based sauces, it already starts off quite salty.

Thats it for this Goodfood recap!
Any meals that peak your interest?

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Christmas 2018 Double Feature: Dreamworks Home For the Holidays (2017) & Trolls Holiday (2017)

Its Christmas day so I shifted things around to keep it light and fun. After some thought, the best is to put together another double feature of animated shorts. This time, it is two Dreamworks holiday specials, one for Home and the other for Trolls. Both of which I have not seen the films so watching their holidays special is going to be a completely new experience to dive into each of these worlds.

Let’s check it out!

Dreamworks Home: For the Holidays (2017)

Dreamworks Home For the Holidays

Director: Blake Lemons

Voice Cast: Rachel Crow, Mark Whitten, Ron Funches, Matt Jones, Atticus Shaffer, Ana Ortiz, Nolan North, Ben Schwartz, Kelly Clarkson

Oh takes it upon himself to introduce Christmas joy to his fellow Boovs. Unfortunately, his well-meaning mission nearly destroys the city. – IMDB

While I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy Home For the  Holidays, there is something here that definitely didn’t quite hit the mark and that might have to do with the animation or the character design or even just the type of humor it chooses to have. I’m not sure its something that I’d go and watch the TV series for or the movie for.

The idea of Home is cute to say the least and the characters I see can work for the young children audience. For me though, I can’t say that it worked quite as much. It also has the idea that it reminded me a lot of Lilo and Stitch in a lesser way and I hold Lilo and Stitch very close to my heart. Home for the Holidays is a fun 45 minutes though. It has some nice tunes and songs to keep it lively. There is a strong Christmas holidays all throughout and even has parts for Kelly Clarkson and Ben Schwartz, both that I like quite a bit.

Some good and some bad but in terms of holiday cheer, this one does have quite a bit. As a family thing, it does seem like maybe it might be more for the kids than the parents. But then, I’m not a parent yet, so maybe I’m wrong.

Trolls Holiday (2017)

Trolls Holiday Special

Director: Joel Crawford

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, James Corden, Ron Funches, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kunal Nayyar, Walt Dohrn, Kevin Michael Richardson

When the Queen of the Trolls, Poppy, finds out that the Bergens do not have holidays, she enlists help from her friends, Branch and the Snack Pack, to help her bring holidays to the Bergens. – IMDB

22 minutes of fun Trolls time. I’m going to be honest here that other than playing with actual Trolls toys in the 90s when I was a kid, I have never watched the movie before. I’ve heard the song from the movie sung by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick but other than that, I have no idea how it all goes. Suffice to say, this one seemed and was absolutely colorful and fun.

I’m a big fan of Anna Kendrick, whether its her acting and her singing. I think she’s so dynamic as an actress so I have full confidence in her capability. And my first experience with it here definitely proves that its a pretty fun time and a lot of it has to do with all the quality singing that goes into each scene. Its abundant but that is what highlights the talents of both Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake because it is their fortes. Of course, I can’t get past this one without talking about Bridget, voiced by Zooey Deschanel who I happen to love also. Trolls Holiday had all the cards on its side for me to absolutely enjoy and I did with all my heart. It was light, happy, colorful and fun. There’s a positive message about friendship and communication and listening.

While Trolls Holiday isn’t exactly a Christmas movie mostly because Poppy goes to her best friend, Bridget to pitch one of their many holidays to hopefully make them happier, it is still a happy experience because of how silly all the Trolls holidays are and how they present it.

This Dreamworks Christmas double feature is done!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Goodfood Recap #30

goodfood recap

And we’re back to business with the recap image sorted out!

In general, we’re doing the monthly boxes so I actually forgot to post up the last one. Its been a bit crazy on my end. So I actually have another post coming up soon. First, lets get this overdue Goodfood recap up from 2 weeks ago!

Soy-Steamed Cod
with Sesame-Ginger Kuri Squash and Baby Bok Choy

soy-steamed cod

My husband was the one who cooked this meal. I always say that we try to pick up some fish meals. This one is really good. I’ve never had kuri squash before and it tastes delicious, especially with the spices used here. It had a little kick but still was really lovely.

Citrus-Miso Udon
with Sesame-Ginger Tofu Orange Segments & Bell Peppers

citrus-miso udon

One of the two vegetarian dishes in this box. I’m a big fan of udon noodles. My husband is not so while I love to get them, its always a struggle to see whether he will like it. This one is mostly uncooked except for the tofu. I can’t say this is my favorite dish both in terms of how the tofu is done or how the whole dish comes together but I like the tofu with ginger and sesame bit, I guess and udon in general is a noodle texture that I personally enjoy so it worked in that sense.

Malabar Curry
with Chickpeas & Sugar Snap Peas, Basmati Rice & Roasted Cashews

malabar curry

The surprise of our box is this second vegetarian dish. After our experience with the Miss Fresh boxes and their love for curries and such, we took a huge break from it once we started Goodfood boxes because the variety here is fantastic in comparison. After 29 boxes, we finally decided to go for a curry meal in the Goodfood boxes and let me tell you, this dish was a highlight. My husband loved it. I thought it was immensely delicious. We’re putting some serious reconsideration on getting some more curry meals now.

Portuguese Chicken
with Crispy Potato Rounds, Romaine-Carrot Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

portuguese chicken

The last meal of the box goes to this portuguese chicken. We do use piri piri spice when we make our own chicken here. This one is not bad. Its actually quite tasty. My only issue all the time with these recipes is how long it asks us to make the potatoes in the oven. I don’t know if I cut it too thin or the time is not correct but that is the only thing that didn’t quite work out. The start of the show, the chicken itself didn’t disappoint and that has to go to my husband for making it.

That’s it for this overdue Goodfood recap!
Another recap coming next week for last week’s menu and then we’ll be back on track!

What did you think of this Goodfood box?

Goodfood Recap #25

goodfood

Time for the next Goodfood recap! Its been a while that we’re doing something non-movie related. I’m sorry for it all. Fantasia Festival and work combined simply ended up ruling my life despite wanting to do other posts. Anyways, Fantasia is over and while I still have some little things left to wrap up, we’re back to normal programming!

This was last week’s box and it was a tough one to go through because of the fatigue and scheduling and overtime all combined together. Luckily I did two of the recipes and my husband helped me out with the other ones and we managed to get it done.

Let’s check it out!

Togarashi Chicken
with Blistered Shishito Peppers & Crispy Rice

Togarashi Chicken Goodfood

If you like spicy food, this Togarashi Chicken is right up your alley. Luckily, we’ve been getting in the hang of having some delicious spicy seasonings and I was really excited to try out this recipe. I’ve never had shishito peppers but it was pretty good and it had to lovely balance of textures and flavors with the crispy rice and the chicken. I have to say that we’ve had a few meals with the crispy rice and its a great way to make it. Its fairly decent to make also so that helps. Although to be honest, I would get some normal bell pepper pieces or some sweet peppers instead since it can get a little overwhelming.

Grilled Steaks & Sherry-Mustard Sauce
with Fresh English Peas, Baby Kale & Barley

Grilled Steaks Goodfood

We don’t eat steak a whole lot so this is a treat. We did end up replacing the baby kale with our own homegrown kale because it wasn’t looking too nice. We don’t usually have a lot of issues with the freshness and the weather has been really hot so even our garden isn’t doing great so it was nice that we had some backup. It was kind of our fault to have waited 2 days before using it, which usually is fine. Either way, just a point and not really a complaint. However, the meal itself did turn out really well. Barley is one of those ingredients we don’t have our house so whenever we get these boxes, we learn a little more how to use it. With the flavors here and everything, it blended very well together. it was an easy meal to put together, the shortest in this box if I’m not mistaken and it worked well for the busy and crazy week that I had gone through.

General Tao Cauliflower
with Spinach Chips & Garlic Rice

General Tao Cauliflower

Starting these next two, my husband was the one who stepped up and took over to cook because I was just swamped with everything. Lucky because especially this one, it was quite technical and I’m not great with any flour batter and fried sort of meals. However, I honestly loved this meal a lot because of the cauliflower and how it was done. Combining that with the sauce (which was the only part I made along with the spinach chips), it actually was so delicious. It worked with some delicious jasmine rice and a crispy spinach chip along with a tasty cauliflower to just have enough crunch to make it so great together. It a tie between this meal and the chicken for my fave in this box for sure.

Spice-rubbed Pork Chops
with Plum Chutney, Charred Kale & Black Rice

Grilled Pork Chops

Last up is the spice-rubbed pork chops. Its kind of weird to think of plum chutney and I only eat black rice when my mom uses it in this special sweet congee that she makes. Suffice to say that I’m not skilled at eating it. This one was a little toss in the air to just fill up the last meal and it turned out as a pleasant surprise. I can’t say that I’d want to make it again but the plum chutney came out really great. The charred kale is good as always and keeps it healthy. Black rice has a different texture and is a bit more chewy but it also has a nice flavor. This one does come together well enough.

Overall, that is our recap of the Goodfood from 2 weeks ago!
A little behinds schedule but better late than never!
We have a new box coming in this week so things will be back on track..in probably a non-movie related way as I take a little break (after two more Fantasia reviews).

Gardening #4: Signs of Harvest

Its taken a month to get the next gardening update in but here we are!

The main reason is that I haven’t done much gardening and there really hasn’t been much to update on. Most of my blooms from spring lasted quite a little while and now that summer is here, the garden is flourishing especially with the crazy amount of rain we got before the last few days of extreme heat.

Without further ado, lots to talk about. Let’s check it out!

Water Garden

Water Lilies

Compared to the 4 leaves it had when I first got it, this lovely water garden (aka. my one water lily) has a ton of leaves and two flower buds. Of course, one of them is blooming. I was so happy to see that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and taking good care of it. Its so nice to see during the day when I wake up and look outside that its thriving.

Front Garden

On one side of the garden, my Dianthus actually is blooming finally. It took long enough. I probably am thinking of moving it and replacing it with a row of hostas or something because this spot just lacks so much sun and along with bad soil that is still taking time to be better, its just making this grow so slow. My neighbors’ hostas were blooming at least a week before mine and they look like a few times bigger. However, I’m still trying to figure out what my big reno work for the front yard is so I’m hesitant to just move a plant and then have to move it again the year after.

 flowers

Another reason to redo the front is that my flower patch is starting to look really overgrown. I think its just that, in terms of flowers. I have flowers that open in spring, summer and fall which works great but then its so dense around. I just need to sit down and figure out what I want to keep. However, looking at all the flowers right now, I’m really happy. Obviously there is the Crimson Star as always but I do kind of want to move it now since its just out of control big.

Then we have these two. The roses were planted last year in this spot and I was worried that it wouldn’t make it but its small and cute but still managed to get 3 flowers bloomed. I’m so happy to see the touch of red. At the same time, the newcomer this year is this furry little plant and its also starting to bloom. I don’t think this is in the right spot but once I open up my side garden when its not suffocating weather for the bee/butterfly garden, this will go right in there.

Backyard

Raspberry Patch

Not a whole lot of change with these two except for just growth. Yeah, look at the raspberries. Apparently trimming it makes it grow even more out of control. Sad part is that we never got around to the strawberries but we fed a lot of happy bunnies. I’m not too mad about it. I’ve just accepted that its a reality. We are thinking of putting in some fences around it but its not going to make a difference.

Along the Patio

As for this little patch, I just opened up this year. Its actually looking alright. Everything is growing a little slow and I think it has to do with the soil quality. Nothing has died yet and I can see the little Cone Flower at the end still growing strong. Its not as big as the one in the back and nowhere near it, but once it adapts to its move, it should do much better next year (provided it survives).

Container Garden

We are lucky that we got a ton of lettuces this year because after the first harvest, we lost two already from the cucumber pot. However, everything else, particularly the kale is thriving. I have some lettuce coming back. My new non-lazy watering strategy is making everything grow beautifully. The cucumbers are looking fantastic. Actually they have a lot of flowers and some cucumbers forming so fingers crossed that we’ll get some harvest soon-ish, but not going to count my chickens before they hatch. We literally have kale feasts now. Its just way too big and we can’t eat it fast enough. The biggest success is that the bell peppers experiment turned out the the container one is doing much better. The picture is dark but if you squint really hard, you’ll see that there are two bell peppers growing. At the same time, this mosquito repellent garden is looking the best in the last few years. I’m really happy with it.

Vegetable Garden

In terms of the vegetable garden, I once again forgot a before and after picture. I just spent Canada Day weekend getting rid of all the horrible oxalis grass covering the entire area. Its one of the reasons I think that the cucumbers are looking yellow and sad. We did go to the Dollarama to pick up a sprinkler hose which is a great addition, except you might want to consider getting it somewhere a little better and more durable. Ours already broke twice so its already having a lot of duct tape fixes. What I can I expect with a $3 product? However, it lets me walk away to water the container garden while it just takes care of the watering for me. Zucchinis are the only one in this plot that has some growing. I’m hoping that it’ll all work out. Everything else is just moving along, except my herbs on the side. The lavender needs to probably be moved but my mint is out of control.

Overall & What to look forward to…

There been a ton of growth here. While there are some losses, its actually doing really well this year. I added in a watering system to the kale and cucumber container because it was just draining too much. Actually the watering systems work really well, especially the past few days when its been record high temperatures of 44 degrees Celsius or something. I do warn that the next update will be in August as we are coming up to Montreal Comiccon and Fantasia Film Festival. It might put a little stop in some stuff depending on the situation. However, I always have my first week of vacation coming up so hopefully we will have some more projects. I have a few goals. Maybe finally opening up my plot but we need something else to happen first which is in the works.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How is your gardens looking? Any harvest?

Recap: Goodfood #20

Goodfood

20 boxes into this Goodfood journey! There really isn’t much to say anymore other than the fact that I love doing these recaps.

Although, this box was kind of sounding really good but also very experimental? Who knows, right? If Goodfood has taught me anything, its to be adventurous in my foodie and cooking adventures!

Chicken Yakitori
with Roasted Carrots, Chinese Broccoli & Miso Butter

chicken yakitori

A lot of firsts here. I’ve never actually made yakitori before and rarely have attempted the kabobs things either. That turned out to be fairly simple. I never had thought about roasting Yu Choy in the oven but I guess that also does work. It just works a lot like kale and I think the recipe is still a little borderline on how long it keeps it there so mine turned out a little burnt. However, Chicken Yakitori did turn out to be really delicious. They had some lovely spices and other than the prep work for the kabobs taking a little longer, this recipe was pretty tasty and well worth the work.

Vegetarian Paella
with Marinated Artichokes & Toasted Almonds

vegetarian paella

Vegetarian Paella sounds a little odd but we’ve been exploring these vegetarian takes on food with these boxes and most of the time they don’t disappoint. Unfortunately, we weren’t a huge fan of this one. The zesty taste was a little too abundant for my taste. It was the first time I tasted marinated artichoke and that was also really acidic. I didn’t have an issue with the artichoke but more the fact that it was so acidic. Then there was tomatoes also which were also really acidic. This dish was just a whole plate of off balance. Can’t say I’m a particular fan but my husband was a mega champ and helped take care of what I didn’t want to eat. A rarity in our home because I usually manage to finish everything and am not a picky eater.

Gourmet Bacon & Cheddar Stuffed Hot Dogs
with Homemade Ketchup & Grilled Romaine Salad

Hot Dog

modified version

I should have looked at the ingredients more carefully when I chose this one. I never thought that the cheddar and bacon was actually a cheddar and bacon sausage. So my husband had the real deal, except the pictures turned out bad so I’m using the modified version. He was the master chef before this meal and he didn’t buy into the stuffing it overly and making the bun soggy and mine is a sausage with bacon so pretty much we modified this recipe to our own liking or at least in presentation. The homemade ketchup was pretty good. I can’t say it delivered quite as well as the awesome looking picture in the recipe looked like it would taste. Still, I love hot dogs so any excuse to have one is fantastic.

Ground Beef Tacos
with Homemade Salsa Verde, Cabbage Slaw & Panela Cheese

Ground Beef Tacos

Finally, the beef tacos! I actually put together 75% of the meal but then my husband wrapped it up and also I ended up just telling him to eat it because it would have too many modifications. According to my husband, the beef tacos were quite good. He’s into one word responses when it comes to food so honestly, it did smell really good as I was cooking it. The spices were great and the beef smelled good. The slaw was easy to put together. There was a decent amount of prep work for this since its a lot of cutting. It also uses tomatillos as the salsa verde and we have to roast it a little in the pan which was a pretty neat cooking experience.

Overall, this box was a little lackluster. My fave went to the Chicken Yakitori.
One of those weeks that we picked recipes and well, I just had to modify a lot to my allergies.

Recap: Goodfood #19

Goodfood

Welcome back to another recap for Goodfood!

We’ve been ordering these boxes at quite regular intervals. Its nice to see that this time’s menu actually reflects quite a bit on the warmer weather and gives us a very nice summer vibe. These recipes are on the more time-consuming side though as they estimate approximately 40-45 minutes for each of these and we usually always surpass that time.

Let’s just get right into it.

Enchiladas Verdes with Zucchini, Rice & Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

enchiladas verdes enchiladas verdes

I haven’t had enchiladas for pretty much as long as my lactose-intolerance relapsed back in 2008 or something. I still remembering loving them whenever we went to Mexican restaurants with my friends back in college. This one is a little different as its our vegetarian meal of the box. I don’t usually start with the vegetarian meal however, I was tight on time and this was the easier one to put together. It also had an ingredient that I’ve never used before: Tomatillo. A fun little one to put together. There is a decent amount of chopping but putting it together was quite fun. It yielded 6 enchiladas so we made them in two separate oven pans. Mine excluded all dairy products, which means no sour cream mix for the rice and not cotija cheese on top. My husbands had everything as it should be. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this recipe but it turned out to be quite tasty. Not too crazy about the tomatillo salsa but the wrap itself (which is what it is without the Mexican parts was really fresh and delicious.

Mojito Chicken with Crispy Rice & Chayote-Mango Salad

mojito chicken

One of the more unique recipe ideas from Goodfood has to go to transforming mojito to clash with a chicken dish. I get the concept behind it but I wasn’t quite sold. It didn’t help that they gave a mango that was over-ripe for a crunchy salad texture. It was mushy and in the end, I actually put it aside from just eating by itself. At the same time, I’ve had a traumatizing chayote cutting experience last year so I had my husband do that part since apparently my hands (and it happens to a lot of people) react to the chayote when you cut it and it dried out my skin and I just start peeling so its best to use gloves when you cut them as precaution. And they suggested to not cook it, which I didn’t like the idea of seeing as my hands didn’t like it, imagine my mouth, right? So we ended up grilling it a little so changed the recipe up for ourselves. I like chayote when its done good and it was pretty good, the crispy rice had a good idea but not sure in execution it worked as well and the best part did go to the chicken itself as it got infused with various mojito-ish flavors and the spices worked well. A little disappointing but it had some good elements and cool ideas.

Miso Butter Pork with Red Rice & Yu Choy

miso butter pork

And we present to you the highlight of the box and also my experiemental choice which turned out to have some really nice trick up their sleeves. Miso in anything usually is a really salty idea. So I went light on the salt and pepper in general for this one. If I remember correctly, the rice had garlic and then had mirin and sesame oil added to it afterwards which adds a lot of nice flavors to it. There was some cool marinated apples on the top also with mirin and vinegar and sesame oil (maybe). Which made everything very marinated and helps that the pork was only cooked with salt and pepper and not some special spice. The Miso Butter element was really just the sauce that was poured over it. I could definitely have lowered the salt a little bit more however, it still was really delicious. I only ever use mirin when I get these boxes and I’m not sure using sesame oil on rice is a good long-term eating habit plan but every once in a while, its a pretty nice touch.

BBQ Pork Burgers with Crispy Onions & Garlic-Butter Corn

bbq pork burger

Onto my husband’s time in the kitchen as he makes delicious burgers. He took over while I did gardening so I actually have no idea how any of this recipe works. I can tell you that this burger buns were better than the last one we had. The patty was also quite delicious. The garlic-butter corn was really good also. Crispy onions do add a nice little bite to the burger as well. This one was a pretty decent success. We don’t eat pork burgers a lot, mostly because I never think about ground pork but its a nice change from beef. Our second fave of the box for sure!

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Next one is the 20th recap and while I debated to stop doing it, I have so much fun sharing these cooking experiences.

Any of these recipes appeal to you?