Friday, January 31, 2014

Delicious pork from a favorite website

One of my long, long, long time favorite food sites is The Cookbook Junkie.  I always loved her style and especially her recipes. 
It's been just over a year since the site was updated.  I will never lose hope that one day Paula will return to blogging, and until that day (hopefully) happens, I will keep lurking and finding fantastic recipes in the archives.

Follow this link for the recipe - Pork Medallions with Sherry Mushroom Sauce.

This was a HUGE hit at the dinner table.  It was simple, fast, tasty.  Everyone loved it, even the finicky kid.

I also made a baked rice dish that night, and I could see pretty much the moment I started assembling the ingredients that it wasn't going to go well.  The recipe just made no sense!  And how had I not noticed before? 
I spent some extra time tweaking it, adding, removing, adjusting.  I still wasn't super happy with it until it came out of the oven.  It smelled amazing and looked pretty nice.  AND!  It tasted much better than I expected. 
I snuck the leftovers to work so no one else could have them and I ate them for breakfast for the next 3 days.  Yum!  I am going to keep working on the recipe.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Onion Soy Chicken

I bought a big bottle of dried onion at Costco on a whim a couple of months ago.  No plan.  
What do you DO with dried onions?
I found a use this week - in a quick marinade for chicken.

Onion Soy Chicken

1 lb chicken breast, cut into slices about 1/2" thick
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TB dried onion
1 cup cornstarch
Oil for frying

Stir the soy, garlic, and onion together in a large bowl.  Add the chicken and mix to coat.
Let sit for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, heat about an inch of oil over medium heat. 
Place cornstarch in another bowl.
When the oil is hot, remove chicken from the marinade, and lightly coat each piece in cornstarch.
(If any onion sticks to the chicken, leave it - it will crisp up and be delicious.)
Carefully place the chicken in the oil, working in batches if needed.
Cook, turning once or twice, until the chicken is brown and cooked through.
Drain on paper towel, and serve.
It's best while hot, but is still pretty tasty as leftovers.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Grocery Shop January 26

Ketchup, fruit cups, pasta, mint, clamato, ginger-ale, tomato soup, granola bars, fruit snacks, mayo, iced tea, yogurt, cheese x 2, cream, cookies (little snack pack of cookies shaped like the cars from the cars movie, you know who lost his mind when he saw them), strawberries, blueberries, avocados, potatos, cauliflower, carrots, salad mix, grapes, lemons, green onions, red onions, tomatos, grapefruit, brussel sprouts, napa cabbage, mini cucumbers, beef roast, french bread, whole wheat bread, deli turkey.


I'm trying a bunch of new recipes this week - 5 - which I am looking forward to.  I was going to bake some spice bread and premake tomorrows vegetable stew, but I'm losing steam today.  Sometimes the weekends just aren't long enough.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Morning Breakfast Buns

We are back in the land of early morning activities on the weekend, so I need to find some easy, light, and preferably make ahead breakfast ideas. 
I decided to try to make a savory morning bun for our first busy morning. 
I was really happy how these turned out. They were delicious warm out of the oven, and they were almost as good as leftovers. 
I made this version with sausage and marble cheese, and I'd like to try some other versions - chopped ham and brie, bacon and onions and swiss, maybe a veggie version? 

Sausage Breakfast Buns 
1 can pizza dough 
8 oz loose sausage meat 
1 cup shredded marble cheese 
dried basil 
dried oregano 

Preheat oven to 350'. 
Cook sausage over medium heat until cooked through, breaking up any large chunks. Stir in pepper, and some basil and oregano to taste. Set aside. 
Pat dough into a rectangle, about 13x8. 
Scatter the sausage mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2" border on one long side. 
Sprinkle the cheese over top. 
Starting with the long side without the boarder, roll the dough up, jelly roll style. 
Cut into 8 pieces. 
 Arrange on a parchment lined sheet, with a cut side up.
 Bake until the buns are golden brown, 20-25 minutes. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mexican Casserole

This is a long time favorite, from Notebook 4.

5 medium potatos, cut into bite size chunks
2 TB oil
4TB taco seasoning
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar or mozza cheese

Preheat oven to 425'.  Toss potatos with oil and taco seasoning and spoon into dish.  Bake, stirring once, for 30 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef, onions and peppers over medium high heat, then stir in the salsa.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  
Remove potatos from oven, cover with the ground beef mixture, top with cheese.  
Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Grocery shop, January 19

noodle soup, baby corn, antipasto, salmon, coffee creamer, sour cream, eggs, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, green onions, mushrooms, celery, deli pastrami, 2 pork tenderloins, chicken breasts, bread, garlic bread, artichoke spread.

total $70

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bites 10

If I was asked today what my top restaurants in the city are, Indian Aroma would be at the top of the list. On New Years Eve I picked up the Dinner Combo #1 - with pakoras, butter chicken, vegetable korma, salad, naan and rice. I also ordered a side of papri chaat. It was delicious and nice to not have to cook that night. These guys rock.


We took our visiting nephew to the Amsterdam Restaurant for breakfast before Christmas.  Pax had a super cute Clown Pancake.  I had Eggs Benny.


I found some ground pork in the freezer and turned them into crock pot meatballs.
Sweet and sour crock pot meatballs
Mix together 1 lb ground pork, 1 egg, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion.
Mix well, form into meatballs (I got about 20 total), and cook in a pan with a bit of oil until cooked through.
In your crock pot mix together 1/3 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 TB soy sauce, and 1/3 cup cider vinegar.
Add the meatballs, cover, and cook on low 2-3 hours.


I called this my Sunday Night Steak - guess why?  It was so good!  We haven't eaten much steak lately and I wanted to jazz them up.  I marinated them all (Sunday) afternoon.  When I mixed the sauce up I set some aside for drizzling on the plate at dinner time.  A wise move.  I just threw stuff in  - a few TB of hoisin, a splash of water to keep it thin, a few more TB of soy sauce, a squirt each of bbq sauce and honey, some garlic and ginger.  All good stuff.


We found ourselves out at dinner time recently, and conveniently very close to Sushi Plus, a newish restaurant in Aberdeen.
No photos, but we tried some miso soup, tempura, yam sushi, beef udon soup, and the katsu don (pork rice bowl).  Sadly, they like so many other Kamloops sushi restaurants, are not open on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Orange and Lime Ice Tea

I'm trying to find a drink recipe for the next work potluck - I am on drink duty (obvs) which seriously is the toughest course. 
 I made this on the weekend and it's definitely on the short list, which needs to get shorted asap. 
 I really REALLY like ice tea and the addition of citrus is good. I went with only 1 tb of brown sugar but I'm thinking that if this makes the cut, I'll up it to 2. 

Orange and Lime Iced Tea 
from smoothies and juices by Christine Ambridge 

 1 1/4 cup water 
2 tea bags 
scant 1/2 cup orange juice 
4 tb lime juice
1-2 tb brown sugar 
8 ice cubes 

to garnish (i didn't) 
wedge of lime 
slices of fresh orange, lemon or lime 

Pour the water into a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. 
Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature. 
Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. 
 When the tea has chilled, stir in the orange and lime juices. Add sugar to taste. 
Take two glasses and rub the rims with a wedge of lime, then dip into the sugar to frost. 
Place the ice cubes in the glasses and pour over the tea. 
Decorate the rims with slices of fresh orange, lemon or lime, and serve.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish

Before Christmas my friend at work brought the 2 of us in lunch that she had made at home -a Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole. 
It was really tasty, and I added it to my mental list of dishes to make. 

Last weekend I realized I had all the main ingredients for such a casserole - chicken, leftover New Years ham, cheese - but I couldn't find a recipe online that sounded nearly as good as the one made for me. 
So I made Chicken Cordon Bleu. Ish. 

All my stuff -chicken breasts, ham, cheese (I had mozzarella), seasoned flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs.

I sliced the chicken in half horizontally, and bashed them with a mallet until they were quite thin.  Then I seasoned one piece, layered on some ham and cheese, and topped with a second chicken piece.  I used a couple of toothpicks to try to keep the pieces as one.  
A quick dunk in the flour, egg wash bath, roll in the bread crumbs.  Easy.

I heated some olive oil over medium heat and cooked the chicken until nice and brown.

THEN, I popped them into a 400' oven for about 10 minutes, to make sure they were cooked through.

Ooooh, look at that ooey gooey cheese.

Yum!  These were so good, and from start to finish took less than an hour.
Just remember to take out the toothpicks before serving.  I didn't.

So good, so easy, so going to be made again soon.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fiesta Mexicana - Kamloops

Early last year the Kamloops restaurant Fiesta Mexicana scored a spot on the food network show You Gotta Eat Here.
 A big deal! (Side note - I wish the show would visit more eateries out West - it's so heavy on the East)

 Last Spring we had to plan a work dinner, so 6 of us visited Fiesta Mexicana, super excited and ready to eat on someone else's dime.

I had a beergarita. It was delicious.
My friend had the enormous and tasty taco salad.
Another co-worker tried the Burrito Guadalajara - a dish that was featured on the tv show.  She loved it.
I had the Mole Poblano, my very favorite Mexican dish.

My other coworkers tried enchiladas, nachos, and taquitos.

The food was great, service was terrible.  And that was the theme that stood on my 2 follow up visits - good food, truly awful service.  I went back with the fam about a month later - and I had exactly the same thing - the mole and beergarita.  The mole was still very good, the drink was not nearly as nice.  We enjoyed everything but the service.  It was even worse.  And my last visit in the fall - the less said the better.  But.  A waitress who not only ignored us unless we got out of our chairs and tracked her down.  Who did not understand the menu and recommended dishes that were the exact opposite of what we wanted.  Who took our drink order for a second round of drinks that still hadn't shown up long after we had finished eating and were ready to go.  And then seemed surprised that I wanted to cancel them.  

Service is a huge deal breaker for me, so I am not in a hurry to go back.  Maybe one day, but not soon.  However the food is terrific, and there is a lot of variety.  If you're looking for good Mexican food, tone down your service expectations and give them a try.

Fiesta Mexicana
793 Notre Dame Drive