In 1902 Animal Crackers made their debut. Who would have thought they have been around that long?
1902 Chili powder was packaged and sold in Texas
1903 Tuna is sold in cans
1904 Tea merchant Thomas Sullivan invents the tea bag
Monday, 30 April 2012
We decided to start this section in our blog to give you interesting little tidbits of information about food. We found these little facts so amusing that we wanted to share them with you. Check back to this section regularly as we will be adding little facts frequently.
1 small tomato chopped
4 chopped mushrooms
1 small zucchini chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 small green pepper chopped
1 cup cooked orzo
1 cup chopped black forest ham (omit ham for vegetarian choice)
2 clove diced garlic
1 tsp toasted coconut
½ tsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add olive oil and garlic to a pan plus half a tsp. of coconut oil, sweat the vegetables, add ham and continue cooking till ham is hot. Fold in orzo and sprinkle with shredded baked coconut. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.
Friday, 27 April 2012
This is the how we made our roasted lamb shoulder for dinner this evening. We took the lamb shoulder and gave it a rub with curry powder and drizzled it with the juice of one lemon. We let it sit like this for about two hours at room temperature before cooking. We pre-heated the oven to 325 degrees and then roasted the shoulder for two hours. I like my meat well done, I know that is not the preferred doneness for lamb. I would suggest you use the following internal temperatures to get your desired degree of cooking.
Rare 140 degrees
Medium 150 degrees
Well Done 160 degrees
Rare 140 degrees
Medium 150 degrees
Well Done 160 degrees
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
3 Norton St. W.
Cayuga, ON 905-772-6636
Trevor was able to make it home from Labrador on time for our anniversary and arranged a lovely evening for us. We had the 5 course date night dinner at the Twisted Lemon.
The restaurant looks like a house from the outside, it seats 56 people, I believe at full capacity so it is a good idea to have a reservation if you are going on the weekend. The décor was very nice and it had a romantic kind of flair to it. They even provide you with a purse stool for your purse and in the bathrooms there are small hand towels to dry your hands which you toss in a bin when you are done using them. All the nice little touches make for a special evening.
The staff were all very pleasant and our server took the time to explain what each dish was in detail. The 5 course date night menu is a surprise menu. You have no idea what each dish will be. There are lots of other items on the menu if you are not interested in surprises; I thought this was a wonderful idea.
As soon as we were seated we were given a small bowl of fried wonton chips with a citrus and pepper flavouring on them made in-house. They were very good. Very soon after came in-house made bread that came with an herb and citrus butter. The butter was very nice although not quite enough of the citrus butter for the amount of bread.
We then received our amuse bouche which was an in-house made cracker topped with a jus and thinly sliced beef tongue topped with smoked provolone cheese. I never had beef tongue before and the thought of it was not too appealing but it was a very pleasant surprise.
Our next course was a lovely salad with fennel, goat cheese, a small lamb chop with a delicious honey glaze which was frenched. The salad was accompanied by an in-house made dressing that had just a hint of wasabi. Very fresh and lovely.
Then came a palate cleanser before the main course. It was an in-house made raspberry sherbet with a blackberry and blueberry on the side of it. A very light flavour and not overly sweet.
Our main course was a puff pastry with chicken, onions and mushrooms in it over a bed of spinach and wild rice. The pastry was just a tad undercooked inside and perhaps I would not have put the pastry over the rice as it tended to make the bottom a bit soggy. The pastry was filled generously with chicken and was otherwise very appetizing. The wild rice and spinach were very good.
Dessert was a crème brule, it was very refreshing, not overly sweet and the crunchy top was delicious and it was very creamy. A very good job on this.
Since they knew it was an anniversary dinner they gave us a bag of their wonton chips as a little present, what a nice touch. Our bill came to 117.00 and that included a beer for Trevor and two cocktails for me. You must try the purple mo, a super drink. This was a wonderful little find and we certainly are looking forward to returning there in the near future.
Friday, 20 April 2012
Chef & Wife
144 King St W
Since Trevor is away I have had to fend for myself in the kitchen. I miss having my own personal chef so tonight I decided to head out to Chef& Wife for some of Ken LeFebour’s take out gourmet cooking. When Trevor and I got married there was no question who would be catering our wedding and Ken did not disappoint us.
But for tonight’s meal I decided on the Chicken with white beans which was done in what seemed like a light tomato sauce with a bit of spicy seasoning and a side of rice which was done with turmeric. Ken uses only the freshest ingredients and local artisan ingredients. The serving size was more than plentiful and I still have quite a bit left for lunch tomorrow. The chicken was a nice plump juicy boneless breast.
I was also tempted by a mango, Sambuca cheese cake. I usually do not like sweets but it sounded so interesting I had to try it. It was just my style not overly sweet at all and very creamy and rich.
If you don’t feel like cooking and want something to take home that you can just heat and serve this is so much better than a fast food place. You can try something different like venison burgers or boar, lamb. There certainly is variety and taste in everything and the menu changes every day.
Price wise for a full meal including dessert, with large servings I would estimate it to be about 15 – 20 dollars a person. Certainly worth every penny.
Thursday, 19 April 2012
This is what we made our dinner guests as an alternative to Garlic Bread
½ French banquette
1 oz. milk
1 tbsp. crushed garlic cloves
¼ tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper
Mix eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut banquette into 1” thick slices and soak bread pieces in mixture 2 to 3 mins. Fry in oil on till, flipping once till golden on both sides.
Note: You can use herbs of your choice to flavour this bread, instead of thyme such as tarragon, dill weed, marjoram.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
1 Med Sized Coco
Julienne of Carrots and Cucumbers
1 oz. Thai Basil
3 oz. Olive Oil
1 oz. Cider Vinegar
1 oz. ackee
Peel, dice and boil the Coco. You would do this in the same manner you would boil potatoes. Boil about 5 – 10 minutes until the desired consistency is reached, this vegetable is starchy so you do not want to overboil it or it will fall apart.
Put the olive oil, cider vinegar and thai basil in the blender and blend. We found that this recipe does not require any salt as the coco makes it taste salty enough.
Add your dressing to the coco, carrots and cucumber and mix well. Garnish with walnuts.
This salad must be served warm due to the high starch content.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
1 Cup Cranberries
1 Onion diced
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
1 oz. Raisins
1 Tsp. Cinammon
2 oz. Tequila
¼ Tsp. Nutmeg
Zest of Lime
½ Cup Sugar
Juice of one lime
1 Tsp. Ginger
½ Cup Diced Pineapple
Put all ingredients in a pot. Sweat ingredients for a couple of minutes . Bring to the boil and then simmer until the cranberries are soft and the desired consistency is reached. This is lovely over meat. We had it over Italian Sausages and it brought them to life. It would also be nice with pork tenderloin. For vegetarians or vegans it works lovely with a medley of vegetables.
With our meal we fried 1 Cup of Shredded Napa Cabbage with ½ tsp of Caraway seeds in Oilive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Friday, 13 April 2012
1 Bunch of Coriander leaves
3 Qts. Water
3 oz. Ginger
4 Fingers of Krachai
2 oz. Ginseng root
1 Bunch of Thai Basil
1 oz. Re-hydrated Irish Moss (see directions)
2 Tbsp. Miso
1 Finely diced Carrot
1 Finely diced Onion
½ tsp. Sesame Oil
½ Cup Cooked Rice
1 Lime Leaf
2 oz. Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic
Chiffonade of Napa Cabbage
Preparing Irish Moss
When you buy Irish Moss it comes dehydrated. It must be soaked for at least 24 hours in water which is changed regularly. Once it has finished soaking you will notice it has doubled or almost tripled in size. Put it in the blender with a bit of water and blend. It should have a creamy appearance. You can purchase Irish Moss at Caribbean Food Stores.
Rough Chop your Krachai, Ginger, Ginseng Root, Garlic, Lime Leaf, Coriander leaves and Thai Basil. Put in Sauce Pan and boil in your 3 qts. of water for about 20 minutes to create your stock. Strain your stock so that you are left with the liquid only. To your liquid add the Irish Moss, Cooked Rice, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Miso, Onions and Carrots. Let simmer for about 15 minutes and serve hot with a garnish of Napa Cabbage.
Thursday, 12 April 2012
8 oz. grated old cheddar cheese
1 cup uncooked rice
1 oz. finely diced celery
1 oz. finely diced onion
1 oz. finely diced zucchini
3 cups water
Sweat the vegetables in oil. Add rice and water, bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes then turn off and add cheddar, stir in well and cover. Leave covered till it cools down. In 3 small bowl put egg in one, flour in one and bread crumbs in the other. Form the rice mixture into logs and dip into flour then egg wash and finally bread crumbs. Heat oil in a pan and then fry them till nice and golden on both sides.
We garnished this dish with a tomato sauce and sour cream mixture and a couple of slices of lime. Garnish the dish as you wish, this appetizer is nice with a dip.
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Today for lunch I went to the Gorilla Cheese Truck, which was located on Upper Gage today. You can check out their website or facebook page to see where they will be located daily.
There were quite a few people in line and you give your name with your order and the cashier calls out your name when the order is ready. Considering the amount of people in line it is run very well and the wait is really not that long.
I ordered a sandwich called the Bubba which was $8.50. It really was worth the money, at first I thought that was a bit expensive for a sandwich but this sandwich had a generous supply of pulled pork, great Jensen Cheddar Cheese on it and coleslaw. It sounds like an odd combination but it works.
My favourite part of the sandwich was the bread, it was toasted perfectly and you could tell it was definitely fresh. Unfortunately I have a weakness for carbs. The coleslaw on this sandwich was not overly seasoned so it was a perfect addition.
The only negative thing I could say about this sandwich was that I was not crazy about the sauce on the pork. It was a bit sweet for me, but after a couple of bites it seemed much better. I would have preferred a bit spicier of a sauce rather than the sweet. They had another sandwich that caught my eye and I am anxious to try, if I recall correctly it was called gordorita, something like that anyway. It has feta, mozzarella and a couple of other items. It sounded so good.
They also serve it with an awesome piece of pickle.
Also what a wonderful bonus, Cake and Loaf had a table along side of them where they were selling some of their products, Sweets and Breads. They had my favourite bread available there. You really need to try this bread. It is a beer, green onion and cheddar bread. This bread is addictive. As far as I know Cake and Loaf is the only place you can get this bread. They have a store on Dundurn in Hamilton. I believe a loaf is $5.00 but don’t quote me on that. Well worth the money.
I am not a sweet eater but I know my son and daughter in law rave about the cakes, muffins and cookies they sell there. They also sell sweets for vegans. I had Nikki do my wedding cake though and it was so so delicious. I still have one small piece left in the freezer and can’t wait for my anniversary so I can pull it out.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
3 oz. butter
10 oz. Very Old Cheddar Cheese grated
2.5 oz. flour
1 onion diced finely
2 cloves crushed garlic
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 lb. uncooked pasta
10 oz. diced corned beef
Salt & pepper
Melt the butter, add garlic, onion and sweat. Add flour and mix to make a thick paste.
Add 1/5 the stock stirring constantly and the cheddar cheese. Continue adding stock required slowly, stirring constantly until the desired consistency is reached. The consistency should be like a thick cream soup.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 12 minutes. Flavour with salt and pepper as desired.
Boil pasta and strain, return pasta to pot and add corned beef and sauce. Mix well and serve.
Sunday, 8 April 2012
We would like to acknowledge Ivan and Elycia for doing our videos for us. They also do the accompanying music. Elycia has been a great help to us in preparing this blog. We couldn't do it without her guidance. Check out her fun blog at www.loveelycia.com
Saturday, 7 April 2012
Shoe Pastry (Choux Pastry) Ingredients
1 ½ Cups Water
1 ½ Cups Flour
6 Whole Eggs
¼ Cup Butter (at room temp)
1/3 Litre of 35% Whipping Cream
A Couple of Drops of Orange Blossom Water (optional)
½ Cup Sugar
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Make the Show Pastry as follows:
Bring water in a pot to the boil and add butter. When the butter is melted add flour, all at once, and mix it well until the batter no longer sticks to the sides of the pot, leaving on low heat. Take off heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each egg.
Pipe in desired shape on ungreased cooking tray or in muffin tin. Cook at 400 degrees for approx. 30 minutes until it is golden brown and puffed nicely.
Take out of oven and let cool.
Make the Filling
Add cream, sugar and orange blossom water to a bowl, mix with blender till nice and fluffy.
Make the Topping
Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler
Cut the cooled pastry in half and fill with whipped cream. Dip lid top in chocolate or spread nicely over it with a spoon.
Cool in fridge until ready to serve.
Friday, 6 April 2012
1 ½ cups 35% whipping cream
8 eggs separated
½ cup white sugar
2 oz. baileys cream
Whip the cream and put in the refrigerator.
Put the yolks, sugar and baileys cream in a double boiler. You must whip this constantly or the yolks will scramble on you. Every couple of minutes it doesn’t hurt to just take it off the burner for a min while still whipping to prevent the scrambling. This is the hardest part of this dish. Cook until it thickens to about the consistency of a thick cream soup, about 15 minutes.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature then fold in the whipping cream gently. You must not do this while its warm or the cream will just melt. Pour the mixture into a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: You could also serve this as a warm dish. If you wish to do this do not add whipping cream. Taste it for sweetness to see if any sugar is required for your taste.
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
1 Cup mashed potatoes
1 Cup raw potatoe grated
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
½ Cup milk
Put the mashed potatoes in a large bowl and leave to one side
Grate the raw potatoes into another bowl that has been lined with a teacloth. Wring them very lightly to squeeze out of as much of the starchy liquid as possible.
Mix the grated potatoe in with the mashed.
Melt the butter gently in a frying pan so it does not burn. Pour it into the potatoe mix.
Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the milk in small amounts until it’s just enough to make a soft dough.
Spread the dough ball out onto a floured work surface. Knead the mixture lightly. Roll into small balls and flatten out into round cakes.
Put them in the frying pan and fry them in a small amount of oil until cooked through, flipping halfway.
Boxty is an Irish Potatoe Cake, try adding a bit of diced onion or a bit of garlic in this if you wish.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
This is a nice dish served with Quinoa or Rice.
1 oz. Coconut Fat
1 oz. Butter
5 Tbsp. Curry Powder
1 Onion Diced
2 oz. Diced Celery
2 oz. Diced Pineapple
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Diced Cooked Chicken
Sweat the onion, celery and pineapple in the coconut oil and butter. Add the flour and curry powder and make a roux (paste). Add the chicken stock and chicken pieces and bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Monday, 2 April 2012
Tonight Trevor and I had dinner at Spice Avenue, 1066 Upper James St. in Hamilton, On. 905-383-2888 (open 7 days a week)
The restaurant had a very nice decor, very clean and not overly bright. I loved the bird cages which held lights in the centre of the restaurant. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful.
We decided to have the meal which was 18.99 per person and included soup, an appetizer, entree, side dish and dessert. For the soup I had wonton which truly was the best wonton soup I have ever had. Usually I find that the broth has no flavour when I order this soup but theirs was full of flavour, which included one of my favourites, cilantro. Trevor had the Tom Yum Shrimp soup which had shrimp in it and was a spicier selection. He felt the soup was actually kind of bland and his comment to it was ``it was alright``.
For my appetizer I had the fried spring roll, which was one large spring roll with a side of pickled dikon and carrot on a bed of lettuce. Trevor had the fresh shrimp roll which came with a peanut sauce on the side.
For my entree I ordered Black Pepper Beef with sticky rice. It was spicy but not overly. The vegetables in it were so fresh. It had green pepper, onion, red pepper and carrot. The rice was served in a side dish and was a large serving. Trevor had the Vietnamese yellow curry which included chicken, potatoes and onion. He also had the sticky rice for his side. We both really enjoyed our entrees and were impressed with the freshness of everything.
The dessert we had was an ice cream cake. It was the perfect size and there were so many flavours going on in this cake and textures. The top portion was vanilla ice cream, the centre almost like a crunchy chocolate cake and the bottem had chocolate ice cream.
The presentation of all the dishes was very nice. If I were to complain about anything it would be the coffee. I would suggest you bypass that.
We definitely would go back to this restaurant.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Yesterday Trevor and I went to visit Boar and Chick, a farm in Troy Ontario owned by the Veenstra family.
It was a very nice visit, Mark took us to see the boars, the piglets were so cute. These pigs are Berkshire’s , a breed originally from England. There were two stalls with piglets and their mothers, about ten piglets in each stall. Outside in one area were some pregnant ones and just around a corner on the way to the small lake there was another outdoor stall without about 5 small to med pigs. These pigs are black rather than the usual pink we are used to seeing.
They also had some lovely horses but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of them.
There were a lot of chickens and they run free range in a very large enclosed area.
I also seen a Dexter cow which is a breed from Ireland and seems to be about half the size full grown as the cows that are native to Canada.
We really enjoyed our visit and Mark was a very nice host. He was very friendly and spent the time answering our questions about the animals. We brought home some of the sausages made from the Berkshires and they were really nice. Full of flavour.
We have decided that this year we would like to take more little trips like this. We also spotted a little café on the way out of Troy and hopefully we will get back out that way in the near future and stop at the café for lunch