Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Sunday, June 15, 2014

[ oh canada! ]

SO WE landed safe and sound and pushed a bit of luggage through customs to last us until our shipment arrives...

It's been great being back to the old stompin' grounds we left in 2005. Of course one of the things on the must-do list was getting my guy a decent hotdog and we knew just where to go ~ to see Jimmy at his hotdog cart outside of the Canadian Tire store...

Jimmy hasn't changed a bit and neither have his hotdogs ~ still $2 and loaded with bonus pieces of sausage. No other hotdog cart can compare...

We've also been house hunting and my goodness, prices are just not what they were 9 years ago when we left this city! I called up the agent who sold our house back then and he toured us around to some really cute ones. There's one that really stood out amongst the rest...and....we already put in an offer!!

It's on a pretty tree-lined street...

Just a home inspection to do this week and then hopefully it will be ours! {well, in a month or so}. I didn't expect to find one that we loved so quickly ~ maybe it was meant to be? Fingers crossed it all goes well!

So that's what we've been up to the past few days ~ busy! So happy to be back!

Happy weekend! And Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

[ happy weekend! ]

WE started our weekend with a fun night out with friends at the Atlantis for dinner. It made me realize that we really need to do these things more often! I guess no matter where you live, you get into a rut sometimes. What have you got going on this weekend?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[ apple of my eye ]

WHEN you are craving something for dessert, there's nothing like baking up an apple cake. I love that there are no special ingredients ~ just pantry staples so you can bake one any time you like!

lisa's scrumptious apple cake

This cake is simple to make and you can use any apples you like {I use a mix of Granny Smith and Gala just because it's what I usually have on hand}. This is a light, fluffy cake and the apple slices will sink right into it when it bakes. Tastes delicious as is, or serve it even yummier with ice cream and caramel sauce!

what you need:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
a sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3 apples peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon for topping

how to:

Preheat oven to 350F. 

1. Sift flour with baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy. 

3. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk {begin and end with flour mixture}. Spread the batter into a greased 9" square baking pan.

4. Place apple slices in rows on the batter, pressing in slightly {I alternate apple varieties}. If you have a few too many, just wedge them in there! Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

5. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.



Monday, March 17, 2014

[ my weekend ]

WHILE much of North America is still digging out from under snow, we've had a dirty sandstorm weekend ~ beige skies, sand blowing, a bit of drizzle just to make the sand run slightly down the windows and then dry that way ~ yuck. This is my 3rd birthday in a row with a sandstorm. Gotta love waking up and checking the forecast on my iPhone and seeing this...

So needless to say, we didn't partake in the breakfast on a patio idea that I had originally planned. 

Instead, we chose a bit of Texas BBQ...

And we went to see this...

I hadn't heard of it ~ apparently it was at Cannes. Hmm... what can I say except it wasn't really my taste. I mean, how bad could it be with Ryan Gosling in it?? I guess I just didn't appreciate the artistry of it. 

But the best part was being surprised with these...

I can never have too many pairs of TOMS, especially here in Dubai. And this taupe colour is perfect to hide any dirt, even in a sandstorm!

Thanks for all your sweet birthday wishes! How was your weekend?


Sunday, March 9, 2014

[ the beach at jbr ]

ONE THING about Dubai is that there is always development going on and something new popping up. This weekend we decided to check out what's been happening down at JBR, the area where we stayed 3 years ago when we first arrived here before we got our apartment.

JBR is a popular Dubai tourist spot with The Walk, a strip of hotels and all kinds of cafes and restaurants with outdoor patios. It's a great spot to people-watch and weekends usually bring the locals with their expensive cars cruising along the strip.

There has always been a beach along the shore and now there is The Beach, a new development of 4 plazas connected by an esplanade with more shops and restaurants, a running track, underground parking, valet parking, and an open-air cinema opening soon. A few places have opened so far with more to follow. 

With Dubai winning the bid this year for Expo 2020, there's been plenty of celebration here and plans for more and more development. I love this huge sandcastle...

We decided to stop for lunch and headed for The Counter, a build-your-own burger spot {we went to one a few times in Dublin when we lived there}...

My guy built his with sautéed mushrooms and chipotle aioli...

and I made mine more of a Hawaiian with grilled pineapple and bbq sauce...

add a chocolate banana shake and a side of these parmesan fries...

and yummo!

The Beach at JBR will be a great spot in the winter with mild temperatures and gentle breezes on the patios. But with temperatures jumping from highs of 24C to 31C just this week and climbing, it won't be long before it will be a little too toasty for many to take in the sights along the sand {including the camel rides!}. 



Thursday, December 19, 2013

[ peanut butter kisses ]

ONE OF my guy's all-time favourite holiday cookies are Peanut Butter Kisses. This recipe has been around a long time ~ I first made them back in the early 90's (!) and they've always remained a go-to holiday cookie. With only 4 ingredients and no flour, they're super easy and make a cute gift too…

peanut butter kisses

what you need:
1 18oz (500g) jar peanut butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 bag Hershey's Kisses

how to:
Preheat oven to 350F. 
Mix together peanut butter, sugar and eggs with hand mixer until well combined. Using a large rounded tablespoon and floured hands or a cookie scoop, drop cookie balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet approximately 1 1/2" apart. Bake 12-14 minutes until tops appear dry and a little crackled.
Remove from oven and press a Hershey's Kiss into each one. Let cool slightly then transfer to rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes approximately 32 cookies.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

[ beef filets in red wine sauce ]

IF YOU'RE looking for an elegant dinner for a special occasion, the holidays or New Year's Eve, this is it. It sounds fancy but it's really very easy. I first made it about 12 years ago for my guy's birthday and it's always a hit ~ I don't know why I don't make it more often! Delicious with mashed potatoes and green beans.

beef filets in red wine sauce

what you need:
2 beef filets, approximately 1" thick
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped or 1 tsp minced garlic in a jar
2 small shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup canned beef broth or beef bouillon cube dissolved in water
1 cup dry red wine

how to:
Season beef filets lightly with salt and pepper.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a heavy skillet over med-high heat. Sear beef on both sides until brown outside but still pink in centre, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove beef from skillet and transfer to plate to rest.

Add remaining butter to skillet. Add garlic, shallots and thyme and sauté about 3 minutes. Add flour and stir for about 1 minute.

Add broth and wine. Boil sauce until it thickens and reduces to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return beef to skillet with any collected juices on plate and heat through for a minute or so in the sauce. Check filets for doneness and continue cooking for a couple minutes if too pink for your liking. Transfer to plates and serve with sauce.

{This makes enough sauce for 4 filets so if you are serving 4 people, just add a couple of beef filets}.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[ indulgences ]

SO I've been pretty good lately when it comes to limiting lots of sweets and goodies. Of course I still cheat but as a whole, I'm doing pretty well. That is, until I heard about these bad boys with the funny name…

…and now I'm slightly addicted. Drat! Have you heard of them? I hadn't but some Dutch expats were raving about them here so of course curiosity got the best of me and I looked for them in the grocery store. Big mistake. And just like potato chips, you can't eat just one. They may only have 60 calories per cookie but they've got 3g of sugar which is what I've been trying to avoid.

What's your latest indulgence?


Thursday, October 31, 2013

[ soup's on! ]

THERE'S nothing like a warm, comforting bowl of soup on a cool day. This chicken and rice soup recipe is so easy and you can freeze individual portions so they're ready anytime. Enjoy with a warm slice of homemade bread for the ultimate in comfort food.

lisa's chicken and rice soup

what you need:

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
6 cups chicken stock or broth
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 uncooked boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 tbsp chicken bouillon
1/2 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
2 tbsp light sour cream or plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

how to:

Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add flour and stir around for another minute.

Add chicken broth, water, garlic, celery, brown rice and chicken. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add long grain rice, chicken bouillon, mushrooms and frozen vegetables. Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove chicken breasts from pot and shred with two forks. Return to pot and add sour cream. Add more water if soup seems too thick for your liking. Heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

[ montreal in dubai ]

ANYONE who's been to Montreal knows that topping the list of must-eats is a smoked meat sandwich and some poutine. So imagine our surprise when we heard that there's a new little place open in Dubai specializing in just that...

So of course we had to check it out!

A traditional smoked meat on rye, pickle on the side and an order of poutine {fresh cut fries, cheese curds and gravy}...

And the verdict? Pretty darn good! And since I wouldn't typically have both in one sitting, half of my sandwich to bring home for lunch!

It's always so nice to find a little taste of Canada. We'll definitely be back!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

[ pucker up ]

LEMON desserts are high on my list of favourites and this lemon square recipe is not only easy, it doesn't require a lengthy list of ingredients. If you don't have fresh lemons, you can use bottled lemon juice {although I think adding in the zest of a lemon into the crust makes them extra delicious!}

lisa's pucker-up lemon squares

what you need

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, cold, cubed
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon (optional)

4 eggs
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 large lemons, juiced (1/2 cup of juice)

how to

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
In a medium bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Grate in lemon zest. 

Cut in cubed butter with a pastry blender.

Press into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Whisk together all filling ingredients. 

Once crust is baked, pour filling over the baked crust and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool (squares will firm up as they cool). 

When cool, dust with icing sugar, cut into squares and serve (or refrigerate to serve them chilled). Yum!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

[ muskoka eats ]

WELL, it wouldn't be a trip back to Canada without indulging in some of the treats we can't get in Dubai {I think we ate our way through Muskoka!}.

Heading up to Muskoka means a definite stop at Webers near Orillia...

For 50 years, this family-owned highway spot has been serving up charcoal barbecued homemade burgers. And it doesn't matter how long the line, it's always the first stop along the way to the cottage. They've got their assembly line service down to an art...

Of course seeking out butter tarts is a no-brainer. Not only did we drive to our favourite little lady in Rosseau for hers, we also made our annual stop to Marty's...

We were lucky to be there when the Muskoka Ribfest was going on so we had to check it out...

Battling it out for awards for best ribs, best sauce, best pulled-pork, it was a BBQ lover's dream... 

I settled for a pulled pork on a bun and a sample of ribs ~ if I had been smart, I would have brought back a bottle of their sauce!

A cute spot for breakfast where the 3 big lakes meet in Port Carling ~ Just Crepes...

Who doesn't love crepes? Especially one filled with fresh berries and whipped cream?

And an afternoon break for local Kawartha Dairy ice cream at Muskoka Cones...

I'll have the Caramel Snapper please {caramel filled chocolate turtles in toffee flavoured ice cream twirled with thick English toffee}...

Needless to say, we certainly didn't hold back! Now to work off all those extra pounds we gained and get back to my normal eating routine! Oh well, that's what vacations are all about!

What kinds of treats have you been enjoying this summer?



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