Friday, April 22, 2011

We have a house guest...

4.21.11 : 111/365


The mister's mom is in town for Easter along with this little guy, Gizmo. Riley loves Gizmo because he's another little boy and all he wants to do is play with him, however Gizmo doesn't seem to share that affection. As far as we can tell. Gizmo HATES poor Riley. :( Doesn't seem to deter my little buddy though, he is ceaselessly trying to win Gizmo over, ambitious little dude.



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Savoy Cabbage Rolls with Halibut, Browned Butter, and Capers

4.20.11 : 110/365

In addition to my subscription to Chatelaine that I received for Christmas, I also received a subscription for Bon Appetit magazine. On Wednesday I made our first meal from the magazine and it turned out really well!


I will be making this recipe again, in fact, I already want it again... mmmm browned butter.




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Radish and Edamame saute

4.19.11 : 109/365


Made this radish and edamame saute to try edamame for the first time. We enjoyed it, however the dish as a whole grew on us much more once reheated. I will certainly try edamame recipes again, so if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

We also made Chicken with Maple Hoisin Sauce, and it turned out well.


I much prefer this 'maple chicken' to the one I made here and will absolutely make it again.

Serves 4

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp minced ginger root

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to baking dish.
3. To make sauce: stir maple syrup, hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and ginger root together.
4. Brush the sauce over chicken. Bake in centre of oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

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Spring? What a tease...

4.18.11 : 108/365


We haven't being dealing with the best weather around these parts lately, but spring still seems to be trying to take over, here's hoping it wins, and soon.


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Seafood and Saffron Tomato Fennel Soup

4.17.11 : 107/365

Let me introduce you to a tried and true favorite in this house.


I came across this recipe in an unusual way. Somehow several years ago an edition of Canadian home & country (October 2007 Ed.) made it's way into my office along with a bunch of other magazines. One quiet lunch hour I was flipping through the home & country and stumbled on this recipe for Seafood and Saffron Tomato Fennel Soup and decided to give it a try. Listen to me carefully, this soup is incredible. Did you get that? A.mazing!!

You should make it immediately, I'll get you the recipe;

SEAFOOD AND SAFFRON TOMATO FENNEL SOUP
Serves 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup finely diced fennel
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 48 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups water
1 cup white wine, divided
Large pinch saffron
1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
2.5 lbs. fresh mussels in the shell
1 lb peeled large shrimp
1 lb fresh halibut, cut into large pieces
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel, celery and onion and saute  for 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with their water, 4 cups water, 1/2 cup white wine, saffron, thyme and kosher salt. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, steam the mussels in the remaining 1/2 cup wine in a large skillet just until they open. Allow to cool slightly and then remove the mussels from the shells and strain the liquid. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the mussels and the steaming liquid, shrimp and fish to the tomato saffron broth. Stir in the orange zest. Serve soup with dollops of saffron aioli (recipe follows), sprinkles of chopped chives and baguette crisps.


Full disclosure: I have never included the orange zest or chives, only include saffron if I have it on hand and only periodically make the aioli. The aioli is delicious though, so I highly recommend that you try it but the soup is good with or without. Since you must try it at least once, I'm including the recipe below.

SAFFRON AIOLI
Makes 2 cups

1 egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Large pinch saffron
1 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cups vegetable oil

Place egg, Dijon, lemon juice, garlic, saffron and salt in the bowl of a food processor and mix together. With the machine still running, slowly drizzle in the oil, allowing the mixture to emulsify. Add dollops to soup.
Enjoy! (What am I saying? You will.)


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Pulled pork with ginger-bourbon sauce

4.16.11 : 106/365


I modified this one slightly as we didn't have any bourbon and didn't think buying any was a sound decision since it's not really our beverage of choice, but I threw caution to the wind and threw in the Canadian Whisky that we had on hand. They aren't exactly the same thing but I had good reason to think it would be fine and it was. Honestly, this recipe was a bit too sweet for me because I'm generally more of a savoury fan. The pulled pork expert in the house (the mister obviously, he's the only other person here) was a HUGE fan, so I would consider it a solid success!

You guess it, it's another recipe from Chatelaine!

As a side we made Artichoke chickpea salad, and while we could manage a taste (wayy too full off sandwiches) and it was great, it does lend itself well to being packed up and taken for lunch the next day!


Yum!

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It's Friday!

4.15.11 : 105/365


(Did I get that song in your head?? Sorry. No really, I am.)

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Ginger-coconut chicken

4.14.11 : 104/365


In all fairness, this *looks* gross, but it tasted much better! :D

I'm not very good with coconut milk I guess, as this isn't the first time that I've made something with it that was lacking something esthetically. Taste is all that matters, right? How do you make it look...uhh, not like this??

Here's the recipe.

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Sesame ginger steak and noodle salad

4.13.11 : 103/365

More rice noodles! I'm really liking them.


Check out another great Chatelaine recipe.

I'm not used to not needing to cook things, so the noodle texture is a work in progress but I'll be practicing a lot because they really are great.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forgot something!

4.12.11 : 102/365

Oops! It was brought to my attention that none of the pictures I posted yesterday showed our kickass new lights. I bet you were a little frightened that we kept those nasty globes! Well, we didn't... because well, they were disgusting.

Here are some pictures of our two super sweet new 'vintage-inspired' schoolhouse lights;






There you have it, light picture overload!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

A Reveal? The kitchen reno is done!!

4.11.11 : 101/365

First things first, we finally got around to framing the two gorgeous paintings that we bought in Saint Tropez on our honeymoon, last year. I must say they look great, now we just have to figure out where they are going to live!



Now for the kitchen! There are a few things left to be done (mostly just paint touch ups - you may notice some spots in the pictures), not to mention that this may be an ever evolving project, but for better or worse, here is our newly renovated kitchen revealed...

 Before:



After:
The coffee/hot beverage corner (next purchase - stainless microwave)
The kitchen is so much brighter now, especially with the new under cabinet lighting.

These drawers make me so happy, we have a huge amount of storage now. Also the new cork floor is amazing!!


'Baking/prep Station'

The beautiful built-in that mister made. It's now the home of the pretty cookbooks (you know the ones), a plethora of kitchen items, and some vintage/family heirloom items too!)

Still need a couple bar stools, we're currently on the hunt.
Breakfast bar/ Chef's desk also built by mister (reclaimed barn wood table top)
 So that's that! Isn't she gorgeous?? I know it's maybe not design magazine worthy but it's perfect for us, and totally suitable for real life yet still esthetically appealing, win-win!

If you are interested in the gorgeous prints we have around the kitchen they can be found on the following fabulous blogs. These are some extremely talented ladies, I highly recommend that you go and check them out and feel free to tell them I sent you.

I love us print - Eighteen25

Things to do print - Eighteen25

Do what you love print - How Joyful

The world go round print - Brooklyn Limestone

Menu planner - Ollibird


 Thanks for checking our reno out, we hope you love it as much as we do. Let us know what you think... be gentle!! :) 

(Can I just tell you how nervous I am to hit 'publish post' on this one?!?)

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What am I? + Gluten-Free Pad Thai

4.10.11 : 100/365

Another 'What am I?' for my 100th picture of my 2011 365 project;

Any thoughts? :)

Dinner tonight was fantastic and really easy since the mister prepped everything for me!

From Canadian Living, Gluten-Free Pad Thai.

I omitted the green onions (I can take 'em or leave 'em) and the tofu (totally not my bag) but added extra shrimp for fun. This meal was very tasty and handy that it's gluten free too, I'm sure it's nice to be able to eat 'specialty' foods without sacrificing taste.

Here's a picture -


Make this one tonight. Seriously.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

RACLETTE!!!!!!

4.9.11 : 99/365

We finally did it!!!!



I promised that I wouldn't talk about it until we finally did it.. so there, done!

Sammi shared the bottle of wine we brought back from France, on our honeymoon, for her... it was the perfect touch!

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh dear

4.8.11 : 98/365

Am I or am I not, the biggest disaster when it comes to painting activities???

Behold the product of Michelle staining something -


Tsk, tsk.

For shame.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don't run with scissors...

4.7.11 : 97/365

No wait, wrong message...


...don't run in the stairway with 8 foot long fence posts.

Yup, that's it.


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