Friday, March 23, 2012

Sardines Anyone?

Grilled sardines may seem like a strange thing to eat and love and crave. And I would have agreed with you a year ago, but oh how my tune has changed! My Italian boyfriend has introduced me to many a new food, but I think one of my favorite things that he is AHH-mazing at making is his bbq'd sardines. Those little tiny fishes are PACKED with flavour and are oh so good for you (zero fat- plus fish makes you smart!...can't you tell?).

He marinates those little guys in lemon juice, olive oil and salt- keeping it super simple and delicious. On the grill, the skin gets a nice crunchy salty char to it and is actually one of the best parts. So open your mind, ignore the wee eyes, start with an empty stomach and be prepared to fall into fish heaven (yes that is a place).

We also made some truly spectacular grilled calamari. And for the sake of keeping it super simple- grilled portobello, zucchini and red pepper salad with goat cheese, sliced almonds and fresh parsley. A truly perfect meal to kick off your summer eating- I mean it was 34 degrees yesterday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fish Tacos

So my cravings a few weeks ago turned into a reality. I met up with some keen girlfriends and together we made, devoured, and extremely enjoyed some fish tacos. And let me tell you, these were restaurant quality fish tacos (watch your back Grand Electric). We whipped up a simple beer batter (2 cups flour, 1 bottle of beer, salt) that we dipped our pieces of cod in. We daringly fried the fish in a big pot of oil- and what a great call it was- the fish turned out perfectly crispy while remaining deliciously soft and flaky on the inside.

We piled our fish tacos high with avocado, chopped green onions, cilantro, shredded purple cabbage and lime crema (lime juice, sour cream, dash of milk). For a more in depth review, check out my girl Tay's blog Love In Spoonfuls

Adios and have a great weekend!

Beer battered cod being fried in canola oil- 2-3 minutes per side

Lots of yummy greens: lime, avocado, green onion

I'll have another please!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chick'N Caesar

I'm pretty much always craving a caesar salad. There's something about that creamy, salty, crunchy salad that makes me go ga-ga. Have it as a starter, have it as a meal, have it in a wrap- I'm in. My new thing lately has been attempting to perfect the home made caesar dressing. And I think I've almost got there. 

I made this Panko Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine the other night and it was an easy peasy meal to whip up after work. The chicken roasts at a super high temperature so it cooked quickly. I threw a couple of the romaine halves into the oven for a few minutes to get a different texture on the lettuce (some warm and soft, some with a nice crunch). While everything was in the oven I whipped up a caesar dressing- anchovies, raw egg yolk- the whole shebang!

 And let me tell you, this chicken was incredible! It had so much flavour and a really nice crunch from the golden panko mixture on top- I could eat this everyday. 

Panko Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine
Inspired by THIS recipe from Bon Apetit and THIS Caesar dressing recipe
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped flat lead parsley
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 large romaine hearts, halved lengthwise

For the Dressing:
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste (from 2 large, grated cloves)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 anchovy fillets, patted dry with paper towels, minced fine, and mashed to paste with fork
2 large egg yolks
10 tablespoons  olive oil
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken on sheet and season chicken with salt and pepper . Combine cheese, panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 14 minutes.
Drizzle 1 romaine heart with 1 Tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes. Chop uncooked romaine heart and put in a salad bowl. Take other romaine heart out of the oven and chop; add to bowl. Toss lettuce with dressing, serve alongside chicken.
Dressing:  mix first five ingredient in a bowl. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in olive oil until the dressing is fully emulsified. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan and pepper to taste, then whisk until completely combined.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day Dreaming

Dreaming about going on vacation? I know I sure am. I stumbled across these photographs of the truly unique 'Treehotel' in Sweden. Sign. Me. Up. The experience is supposed to be all about connecting with nature. "All of the rooms harmoniously blend into the natural environment with the aim of making a minimal ecological footprint. Each room is located four to six meters above the ground and they all share the magnificent views of the surrounding natural environment." -Yatzer, article found here.
Happy Day Dreaming!


All photographs from, article found here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Appetizers: Get Stuff'd Edition

Next time you're thinking: "what should I make for an appetizer?", think about getting stuff'd. Whether you're in the mood to keep it healthy...or to do the exact opposite, I've got just the thing for you. Exhibit A: Stuffed Mushroom caps, Exhibit B: Stuffed Jalapenos. Both amazing, both fairly easy, and both delicious. So what's it going to be? I'd really suggest trying out won't regret it.

Stuffed Mushroom Caps
12 Cremini Mushrooms (or however many you want to make)
Goat cheese
2 slices of Bacon (cooked and chopped)
Chives (chopped)
A few sprigs of Thyme (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350. Wash the mushrooms and twist out the entire stem. Place the mushrooms on a foil lined baking sheet.  Chop up mushroom stems and add to a bowl. Add goat cheese, bacon, chives, and thyme to the bowl and combine. Stuff mixture into mushroom caps (there should be a good sized hole once you take the stems out). Pop them in the oven until cheese is all melty and delicious (20 minutes). *NOTE: you can really add anything you want to stuff your mushroom caps, so go wild!*

Stuffed Jalapenos
12 Jalapenos
Cream cheese
Shredded Mozzarella
Salt and Pepper
12 slices Bacon (partially cooked, cut in half)

Roast whole jalapenos in a 350 oven until soft and slightly blackened (10-15 minutes). Cool. Cut off tops, cut in half and remove seeds and the membranes. Mix cream cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Place jalapenos on a foil lined baking sheet. Stuff with cheese mixture and wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around the jalapeno. Roast in a 350 oven until cheese is melty and delicious.*NOTE: next time I think I would chop the bacon and mix in with the cheese mixture instead of wrapping it!*