Recap: Goodfood #18

Goodfood

Time sure flies and its time to recap another cooking adventure with a Goodfood box. We’ve been relying on these on a regular basis just because I had a really tough month. Its nice to see how it fits into our lives nowadays and actually encourages me to get into the kitchen more. I’m actually going to get back into some more baking soon so I’m pretty excited about that. Things are supposed to calm down a little so fingers crossed, because I do miss baking a ton.

Regardless of that, here’s the recap for the Goodfood box last week.

Thai Basil Chicken
with Snow Pea Tips & Coconut Rice

Thai Basil Chicken

There was a lot of great components for Thai Basil Chicken. For one, I loved that the rice was cooked in coconut milk so it had this lovely delicious taste and texture to it. The bok choy was great and I’m a huge fan of snow pea tips. The mix of the flavors was pretty good, especially since its also a fairly quick and easy meal to put together. My only complaint for this one was that it was a little diminished for this meal in particular because the snow pea tips weren’t really in season, I suppose so it was just branchy and I ended up not being able to eat a good part of it. However, if I were to replicate it with some decent snow pea tips, I would imagine this would be awesome.

Lemon-Herb Chicken
with Sweet Potato & Corn Salad

Lemon-Herb Chicken

This recipe would have been fantastic on the grill. We have a pretty basic range hood from the previous owners and haven’t had the money to invest into something better so when we do recipes which requires a lot of grilling veggies and meat and all that fun stuff, its inevitable that we need to air out the house or it just smokes up our house a ton. However, all that said, this was pretty delicious. For once, I did a lot of the grilling and it turned out pretty decent, especially my TLC for the sweet potatoes which were an absolute pain to chop into wedges. This one was the longer recipe with a lot of prep work and longer cooking times however in the end, it was pretty good. Something of a meal that reminded me of summer which I long to arrive soon. I’ve had enough of precipitation of any form.

Pork Chops with Pink Peppercorns
& Shallow-Mustard Pan Sauce

Pork Chops with Pink Peppercorns

Probably my favorite of this box. Its simple and tasty. I’ve never actually had pink peppercorn until in this recipe. I loved the sugar snap peas and the radish veggies here. I’ve always been curious how to make radishes since it seems to be a good one to grow here in Quebec in the summer and one I’m thinking about trying out this year if the garden center has it. I also love pork chops. The seasoning for this one was perfect. Highly recommend this one!

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

Beef & Shitake Burgers

The last meal of the box was done by my husband. He is the burger expert so he almost always takes care of the burger meals. I can’t say he was a huge fan of this meal. I however thought it was really good. We went a little nuts with the salt here by accident so it was a little salty for me, however, if we notched down the salt, it was really delicious. The bok choy was supposed to be raw here but I’ve never had raw bok choy so I asked my husband to give it a quick cook so that it still had the crisp but was edible for me. The miso mayo also probably contributed to it being salty. Either way, its one I’d probably make if I had a chance although maybe not order again in this box since my husband wasn’t a fan. I think the compilation of the burger and the bun they gave also had issues since the bun took 3 seconds to be soaked at the bottom so wasn’t too great to pick up. Not too bad but I’d have some modifications to it if I was to make this again.

That’s it for this box! 
Which meal appeals to you the most?

Recap: Miss Fresh #8

Another Miss Fresh is here! Having a box arrive after a trip is usually a great way except I forgot how busy I was going to be. Thankfully, my husband helped out to with making a good few of these dishes so excuse the pictures for not being plated exactly as I would however the star of the meals are all there, except for one. We didn’t get a picture of the first meal we made. The next box is coming soon since April is a somewhat busy month and I’ve caught up with a lot of things.

Let’s check out the meals!

Miss Fresh #8

Miss Fresh

Tandoori Vegetable Naan-Wich

Let’s start with the first meal that was made quite out of place of how I’d make these meals since I usually put the vegetable ones as the later ones. However, its all good since due to the ingredients, my husband was the only one that could eat this one. He made it and had it. I can’t say he’s a fan because I believe a portion of it is still sitting in the fridge. However, he did add his own twist to it by adding some protein in the form of scrambled eggs.

Citrusy Herbed Chicken Legs

Miss Fresh

The star of this box has to be this meal! Perhaps, I’m a little biased since I soon came to realize there was a lot of adaptation with the other two meals to work around my intolerance so my husband ate most of it. Funny enough, he cooked this one up. Now, I love chicken so this was a winner already. The best part of this meal had to go to learning a new way of making sweet potatoes for dinner using lemon. It had this fantastic sweet and sour sort of element and just tasted so awesome.

Sausage and Vegetable Stuffed Mushrooms

Miss Fresh

Look at these cute little stuffed mushrooms. Miss Fresh boxes was the first to introduce how to make these stuffed mushrooms and I was excited about it being a part of this box. Of course, I have been so busy and tired that I ended up garnishing all four of the mushrooms with cheese so means, its down to my husband, the mushroom-hating person to take care of it. To my surprise, he liked it a lot. Guess this is how we’re introducing more veggies into our meals from now on. This is paired up with pesto pasta which was made separately afterwards but was not photographed. Sorry about that. A huge thank you to Miss Fresh this time for adding an extra little plastic bag for the pesto so avoid the spillage mess that I had in a previous box. I’m glad to see improvements and thoughts made every single time. 🙂

Coconut Beef Curry

Miss Fresh

Finally, the last meal is the Coconut Beef Curry with a side of Jasmine Rice. This smelled so good while it was cooking and other than the simmering time being longer and maybe preparation, it was relatively easy to make. Although, we did do this one as a collaborated effort since I’m not too good with cooking beef so my husband took over the duties. Although in the end, because I decided to keep in the Thai chili and it would be spicy that it is also my husband’s dinner.

Overall…probably a lack of judgement on my part for this box but its always nice to still get some good meals out of the box. The meals themselves were pretty good even if I couldn’t taste them. They surprisingly expanded my husband’s liking for certain vegetables which is always a good thing. With the help of this box, we can now make mushrooms for everyone. That’s pretty awesome since I have portobello mushroom cravings every little while.

What meals appeal to you from this box? What do you think?

Summer Festivals & Friends!

This past week went by in a flash. Maybe it was having fun, maybe it was work being busy but peaceful, maybe it was just having time to finally get things out of the way and maybe its just finally feeling like I’m moving into a direction where things are resolved.  Sure, that resolved feeling doesn’t quite feel that way during this week but as I put this post together on Sunday night, I also try to reset my mindset.

Last week’s updates was set up in a 10 item list mostly focused on gardening but I love that structure so to not overwhelm everyone, I’m keeping that structure from now on but we’ll be staying positive and looking at happy stuff.  That was always the goal of being here and as much as I love to share events, I also love to share positive thoughts 🙂

The past week wasn’t quite as eventful, thank goodness, but it did involve hanging out with friends and experiencing/exploring new stuff so I’m pretty excited to share it.

1) Attending and seeing an entire movie at Shitfest Social

Alone in the dark

Eric organized a Shitfest Social in the Evening with Table 9 Mutant hosting it in his place, although he still made an appearance.  The movie is that one up there, Alone in the Dark. You can check out all our comments and interaction right HERE! It was pretty hilarious and fun stuff to just be watching a crappy movie at the same time and seeing everyone’s comments and criticism.

Just saying, if you do want to watch this, think about all of us that suffered to tell you that it sucks.  I was pretty confused throughout the whole movie as to what was going on and the ending didn’t really make sense either. Plus, it had some pretty horrible music and it was so loud that it overpowered anything they were saying.  Anyways, just perfect Shitfest material, my friends.

2) Free Children’s Workshop at Home Depot

Home Depot

Project: Bug House

Totally new experience for me.  I never knew that Home Depot offered these free workshops for kids once a month.  Apparently, its every second Saturday.  You get little badges for every project you complete and its just amazing seeing kids bond with their parents and other relatives.  A really nice family activity! Kudos to Home Depot 🙂

3) Enjoying my mom’s vegetable and flower garden

IMG_6124

IMG_6125

IMG_6127

There are also lavenders and pink roses, some purple flowers, etc.  Lots going on.

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Squash

“Delicata” Squash

These two are the ones I gave to my mom to plant in her garden: Sweet potatoes and Delicata Squash.  My mom also has chives, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, winter melon, other varieties of squash and bitter melon.

4) Spending time with friends at Longueuil’s Percussion Festival

Percussion Festival Longueuil

Performance

Percussion Festival Longueuil

Face painting

Courtesy of my friend :)

Courtesy of my friend 🙂

I’ve never been to the Longueuil Percussion Festival but the last few years, we’ve been learning a lot of festivals and checking them out one by one.  This one was really awesome since I spent it with some great friends, made some new ones and the kids with us had a blast which always makes for fun times.  There was a bag of free samples from a pharmacy chain and lots of games and crafts for kids.  Plus, of course, there’s food and I’ll talk about that in the next point…

5) Eating great food at Percussion Festival

Lemon Heaven

Lemonade&Ice Tea

Takoyaki Montreal

My friend’s food stand Takoyaki Montreal

Takoyaki Montreal

Takoyaki

Takoyaki Montreal

Shaved Ice from Takoyaki Montreal

J-Dog

J-Dog

Last year for the Matsuri Japan Festival, I had already talked about my friend owning a food stand.  This year, they got a spot in the Percussion Festival.  They had their usual Takoyaki, which is either octopus, shrimp (I think) or mushroom flavor shaped in little balls.  They also had shaved ice in lots of flavors as well.

Not their booth, but J-Dog also made an appearance and last year, I had that awesome hot dog up there and I just couldn’t resist to have it again. Plus, Lemon Heaven was there and they make the best lemonade EVER! 🙂

Friends, Food and Festivals…the 3 Fs I possibly love the most!

6) Reuniting and meeting new friends for my friend’s bachelorette party dinner

Glasses decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Glasses decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Kyomi Restaurant

Special table decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Bachelorette parties are kept secret so only some food and decor shots here.  I haven’t seen the bride in at least 5 years but we’ve known each other for a long time.  It was my pleasure to be invited to her bachelorette party and her wedding next weekend.  Kyomi Restaurant is not a typical restaurant you would catch me at but the decor was beautiful. The lighting gave a beautiful mood.  You can see it on the glass and yes, those are penis decorated straws.  Don’t ask…

As always, there’s always food in the mix.

kyomi restaurant

Wonton Soup

Kyomi Restaurant

Someone’s meat dish

These two dishes was one of the girl’s meal: Wonton soup and a meat dish.  Not sure the exact thing.

Then me, my best friend and another friend decided to order three dishes and share among us.

Kyomi Restaurant

Basil Shrimp

Kyomi Restaurant

U.B.B.

Kyomi Restaurant

Lobster Salad

All three were very good. Lobster Salad was delicious.  Basil Shrimp was original and I was happy to have rice.  The saw was done really well and they had a rice sheet at the bottom which gave it a nice texture. The U.B.B Maki rolls were great.  UBB has eel, avocado, shrimp tempura and mango.

Blue was the theme.  Here's my outfit for the party

Blue was the theme. Here’s my outfit for the party

Dinner may have taken long and I may have had gotten beat to the last parking spot and ended up parking in the side streets and had to trudge in my heels to and from the car but seeing some long time friends and hanging with a bunch of nice girls was very enjoyable.  It was a change of pace and just a nice night 🙂 I couldn’t join them for the activities before and after as I already had plans and I needed to get home to rest for Sunday.

7) Spending an entire day with my boyfriend

Not a lot of pictures to show for this one but after a pretty busy Saturday, my boyfriend and I took Sunday to recharge and spend together.  Mentally, its been a tough week with a lot of stuff to reflect on and I might touch on that a little but we had a few errands to run so we took care of stuff together.

I’m thankful for those lovely friend and family that took my advice and gave me Reno Depot gift cards because it covered all my pool treating and maintenance expenses and I love you for it.  We didn’t get the chance to get more paint but we definitely have to do that as our next priority.  We made a stop at Ikea and bought some ceiling lights.  As much as we want to change as little things as possible, some rooms have really dim lights and we’re going to do a little moving lights around and installing extra ones.  We still have to go back for a second round for wall mounted lights and dining table but things are falling into place.  One floor is completely painted and I’m getting some furniture ready to be moved over.

Gluten-Free: Bison Burger and Sausages

Gluten-Free: Bison Burger and Sausages

After that we ate dinner together at our home.  We made some gluten-free penne, sausages and bison burger patties (our first time trying) along with some broccoli.

We even managed to see two movies on Netflix: a ridiculous soft porn movie giving this chick a million times to show off her too big boobs called Jailbait  (Side note: I should’ve used this Shitfest, Eric.) and a Marvel movie I’ve never seen and know nothing about, The Punisher with Thomas Jane.  Review for this one will happen eventually…

8) Calming my soul with some Michael Buble

It really doesn’t mean anything but Michael Buble is always a winner especially with these slower songs.  It brings me contentment.  Plus, I started trying to play this on the piano so its pretty much on repeat 🙂 Thats really how this all started.  The second one that I have on repeat is called Lost.

9) Fantasia Film Festival coming up this Thursday!

Last year, I got mega sick last year for Fantasia Festival so I missed my most anticipated movie which when some of you reviewed it, turns out it wasn’t all that great.  Still, this year, I was more structured.  I tracked when the schedule came up and made my setlist of 10 movies 🙂 My boyfriend will join me for the weekend ones so yay to date night.

Still, all is just talk until I get the tickets.  I”ll be updating you on what I’m going to see right after I manage to get my hands on those tickets 😉 I’m excited. It looks like there are some cool movies in this year’s line up

10) Finding inspirational quotes 🙂

fall in love

This quote just made my day when I saw it.  I’m happy that I found someone that I can lean on and confide in 🙂

negative bs

So true, right? Its a work in progress.  Negative BS, the door is that way, please see yourself out 😉

Here we go! My 10 things this week! I’d say its a winner.  Saturday was a bit nuts and overcrowded but the next two-three weeks will be very busy with Fantasia in my plans.  I’m planning on drafting a mad amount of posts so that I’m covered for the nights I’m out.  Lots of planning in there 🙂

Happy Monday my lovelies! 

Saturday Dinner: Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Fries!

We don’t usually eat a lot of pork at my place.  Its not as healthy and its more fattening than the normal.  Another thing is that I’ve never actually made any pork chops but my boyfriend has mastered them pretty well.  So there I was on Friday night and trying to figure out what to make for Saturday and my grocery list.  Pork chops are on special so coincidentally there is also the “#1 Readers Fave” being Marla’s Maple Pork in my Looneyspoons cookbook. So voila, the menu for Saturday night was set.  Its nice to eat in on Saturday night and watch a movie (you know its horror because I haven’t gotten around to posting up the Horror Marathon).  For once, there was no parties, no ordering in, no take out, just cooking, eating and relaxing.

Here are Marla’s  Maple Chops:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs (680g) pork tenderloin

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp grated orange zest

1 1/2 tsp each curry powder and ground coriander

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. Trim pork of all visible fat.  Place pork in a large, heavy duty bag, resealable plastic bag.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour marinade over pork and seal bag. Turn bag several times to coat pork evenly.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Transfer pork and marinade to a small roasting pan or baking dish.  Roast, uncovered, at 350F for 40 minutes.  Pork should be slightly pink in middle.

3. Let pork stand for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice thinly.  Drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve immediately.

I changed it a bit.  I bought loin chops instead of a gigantic slab of meat so no slicing afterwards required.  I had all the ingredients pretty much.  I used normal mustard though because Dijon mustard is on the spicy side and my stomach is too sensitive for it.  Also, I marinaded it in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  I never read that before I do it so I don’t budget enough time. One more thing, 45 minutes in the oven for me because we don’t get pink meat, only well done.  Still, it turned out smelling delicious and tasting so good.

So with the pork chops, I made some sweet potato fries.  They were agreed upon last weekend that I’d do something with sweet potatoes.

This was incredibly easy to make.  First, wash the sweet potatoes (you’ll need about 3 medium ones).  Pat them dry before cutting them into wedges about 1/2 inch thick.  Don’t count on my cutting.  its not too sophisticated, but do follow the general idea of it.  Don’t cut into wedges that are too big.  After that, toss about  1 tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning (I use vegetable seasoning) and if your seasoning doesn’t include salt and pepper already then put that in also.  Make sure it evenly coats all the wedges.

Arrange them into a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. I didn’t oil it up because I used aluminum foil under it.  Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time.

These turned out pretty good also.  Saturday night meal was a great turnout.  It was really delicious.

Do you like pork chops? How about sweet potatoes? Are you going to give these a shot? Have you ever done another recipe similar to it?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

As you saw in the last week’s challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple, my garden has a lot of flowers.  Flowers may change every once in a while in my garden especially the seasonal ones, but every year for as long as I remember, my mom had her vegetable garden area just to herself.  This year was no exception so the star of this week’s photo challenge is my mom’s vegetable garden to see how some vegetables are growing as summer gradually comes to an end.

Tomatoes: We can see the transition of growth from not ripe (green) to ripe (red)

Squash (not sure which kind)

Its a type of asian melon; something like a hairy melon of sorts.  You can see the flower that led to its growth bit by bit every day.

This stuff is amazing in soup.

The next star is the bitter melon.  This one is slightly deformed, usually its more elongated.

With some, the growth is hidden from us as this sweet potato plant.

We can only witness the growth of sweet potatoes when we dig it up at the end of the season

Of the most abundant ones right now is the prune tree.

With just a little portion of the tree in this shot, we already see a lot of prunes growing on every branch