Recap: Goodfood #21

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood recap. Its a rare occurrance that we don’t spread out our orders more but this menu, despite some repeats had some of our fave things and other recipes that I was interested in learning as well.

Lets check it out!

Fennel Crusted Salmon Bucatini with Baby Spinach

salmon bucatini

I can’t say that I’m a pasta expert so I don’t really know the difference other than the fact that it looks like thicker spaghetti. However, we don’t eat fish a lot so we chose this one. This meal was both easy to do and pretty delicious. Fennel powder is less overpowering than actual fennel so the crust around the salmon worked well with the bucatini.

Vietnamese “Com-Bo” with Cucumber, Carrots & Thai Basil

vietnamese com-bo

I can’t say I’m a particular expert at Vietnamese food either so I never knew about what Com-Bo was before this. I’ve had the Banh Mi and the Rice Vermicelli and the Pho but no idea what this is but I can tell you that its super tasty if this is any true reflection of it. However, you will notice that cucumbers are non-existent here. They were forgotten from my meal kit. However, when I contacted customer service about it, they were very quick to resolve the problem and reimbursed the price of a meal. I was very pleased with the service. Back to the meal itself, it was a really nice simple one. It was quick to make, except the chopping the carrots part. If I had to prepare the cucumbers too, then it would definitely have gone over the time they had asked for. However, the rice worked with the sauce and crisp-tender carrots added a nice contrast to the beef strips. It just came together really nicely.  This is so simple that I actually would cook this on a regular basis.

Pork Burgers with Sauteed Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese and Chive Mayo

pork burgers

As usual, burgers are my husband’s tasks. Its nice since I got to keep going with some of the garden work while he put this together. We weren’t quite sure whether we had it before but I’m fairly positive that we’ve talked about it before. Still, chive mayo is yummy. The pork burger spices are delicious. Its an awesome summer meal. I’d absolutely use pork patties more.

Peanut Butter Dumplings with Sesame Green Beans

peanut butter dumplings

Our vegetarian meal of the box and also one of my fave meals that we’ve had before are these peanut butter dumplings. They are absolutely fantastic. Its not too hard to make and the sauce is so delicious. Last time, I talked about us ending up just pan frying it on all sides or asking my husband to at least. However, this time, I followed the instructions and cooked it the way it was supposed to be cooked to see the difference and honestly, I have to say that we’re a little split. My husband liked it both ways but enjoyed the pan fried on all sides and I also liked both but thought this version  was a little better. I’ve been having a massive dumplings craving so I’m just happy these were part of this box. 🙂

Overall, a very awesome box! All the recipes delivered in my opinion.
The peanut butter dumplings are repeats before they are my fave, as well as the pork burgers.
For the new ones, I do prefer the Com-bo more than pasta, but I’ve also liked Asian food over Italian food.

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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?

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?

Recap: Goodfood #15

Time for another Goodfood recap!

As I struggled with a few things last week, my husband was a major champ and came home from work and still helped me out with cooking the meal. Bad time management on my part due to little bit a temporary dose of depression and some stuff on my mind. Luckily, we did get through the week and the meals all turned out really well. A little mixed bag for this box.

Let’s check it out!

Haddock with Chermoula Mejadra & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

goodfood

First up is this lovely haddock. We are a big fan of trying out new types of fishes. I believe another box at haddock and we liked it. To be honest, we were slightly skeptical with this one but it was an absolute pleasant surprise. The rice was spiced wonderfully and there was a lot so we ended up making a fried rice with it for lunch. We learned how to make crispy onions in the pan and it turned out really delicious. My husband loves the smell of onion so he was elated. Not a whole lot of preparation and the first part is multitaskable which is always important. The final product was pretty delicious.

Spiced Maple-Lime Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Blistered Green Beans

goodfood

The highlight ingredient of this box to discover was maple butter which is in this menu. If you have gone to a sugar shack and had that dining experience, you come to expect these bold sweet flavors on anything with maple. In this one, it was a nice subtle flavor that complemented the chicken really well. The mashed sweet potato was tasty to balance out the meal and the green beans gave it a lovely veggie crunch. This one was one of our faves in this box for sure!

Szechuan Eggplant & Tofu with Jasmine Rice

goodfood

This was our vegetarian pick of the week and also the Chinese dish. Its a tad spicy but the chili did have its seed taken out so automatically that helps a ton. My husband isn’t a big fan of tofu or eggplant. This one uses a firmer tofu and fries it so it had a lovely taste and texture. This dish came together much better than I expected and other than eating it all in one go felt like my mouth was on fire (just because I don’t eat spicy stuff a lot), this one is was pretty good.

Ground Beef Pizza with Crispy Kale

goodfood

Finally, we ended with the ground beef pizza. This one did get a advisory recall on the beef afterwards but we cook our beef well done all the time and nothing happened for us. This pizza though is the highlight of the box. We loved every element of it from the simple tomato sauce to the nicely seasoned ground beef onto a crispy kale to top it off. It was awesome. My husband had it with the cheese and my side was without and we both loved it the same.

Overall, this box was great. We were hesitant about the recipes we chose but they all turned out to be pleasant surprises. Our favorite was absolutely the ground beef pizza however, that maple butter was delicious with the chicken and the sweet potatoes. I’m definitely going to make more mashed sweet potatoes from now on.

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!

Battle of Ingredients 2018: Chinese New Year Edition

Welcome to the first Battle of Ingredients of 2018. Let’s call this Year 2! We didn’t get a full year for 2017 but this year, we are already much more organized. Battle of Ingredients has changed over the months and we are working with themed dinners more than we are working on ingredients however, we do try to stick within using seasonal ingredients available to the province of Quebec or ingredients related to the theme we are working with.

I have added Battle of Ingredients to the menu on top so you can check out any of the past events we’ve done that you may have missed in 2017.

The first Battle of Ingredients this year is a little belated celebration of Chinese New Year! Phoebe and I welcome everyone to enjoy this lovely event. Our best friend is back home so we luckily had her drop by to be part of this event along with the usual cast of guests.

Wine of the Night

Main Meal

Battle of Ingredients

Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry (Kim)

My contribution of the event comes from a recipe that Phoebe shared with me earlier in the week on Pinterest right HERE.

Stir-fry dishes always are a staple of a Chinese meal. I’m not a very skilled cook so this dish worked perfect for us. Its pretty easy to make. The original recipe asks for carrots but being the forgetful person I was, I picked them up at the grocery story to look at but forgot to put them in the basket so I replaced it with green beans. I kind of supersized the menu so I had to modify the sauce a little bit. My meal actually turned out to be a healthy blandness that I like but I offered salt and pepper to everyone to add if they preferred it stronger. The way to improve this one would be to use the chicken broth instead of water. However, this meal did make for some tender chicken as I did use thighs and vegetables had a nice crunch.

Battle of Ingredients

Ginger-Garlic Abalone (Phoebe)

Phoebe went with a lovely abalone dish. Abalone is a staple of a classy Chinese dinner ingredient. Sometimes the simplest way to make a dish is to go back to the basics. She used frozen abalones along with ginger and garlic on the top and put it to steam. It still had a little bit of the fishy taste here but to us, it was still very good. However, she did forget to bring green onions which would have helped with added a little more flavors to mask the seafood taste that some people (aka my husband) doesn’t like.

Sticky Rice (Outside contribution aka my mom)

Sticky rice is one of the Chinese dishes that you can find at dim sum restaurants and its also one of my favorite things to eat. Luckily, my mom had a potluck the day before and she contributed the sticky rice that one of her friends made to use for our Battle of Ingredients. It was delicious. One year, I will figure it out and I’ll give it a go.

Dessert

Tangerines, Dark Chocolate & Wife Cakes

I slacked off on my original plan to make Baked New Year Cake (recipe HERE) and Egg Tarts (recipe HERE). However, we did have some tangerines which is pretty normal to have for a Chinese New Year fruit dessert as well as some Wife Cakes, which is a delicious Hong Kong pastry made with winter melon. Without any coordination, both Phoebe and I ended up picking up some Theobroma Chocolate from Costco. I like the Raspberry flavor Dark Chocolate one and she got the Original 72% Original Chocolate one.

That wraps up our Chinese New Year Edition of Battle of Ingredients!
We had a few months of hiatus but we are back!
We are getting back into the groove of things 🙂
Our next one will be next month with a little Easter celebration!