Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pear + Blue Cheese + Honey + Walnuts = Flatbread Glory

My recent obsession of blue cheese on pizza has led me to order it at 4 restaurants as of late.  I'm starting to maybe see a problem...or not.  

And because today I couldn't go out for a pizza, I made one instead.  There's no escaping it I guess, plain and simple we are meant to be together.

Pear & Blue Cheese Flatbread

2 pieces naan bread
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
honey to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.
In non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add in pear slices and brown sugar.  Cook, stirring often for 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
Divide cooked pears evenly between both pieces of naan bread.  Top with blue cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes on baking sheet.
Remove from oven sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle honey to taste.  Using pizza cutter slice into 4 and enjoy.

Serves: 2

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Girls Night Dinner Date: 80th & Ivy

Last night I had the privilege of dining with my some of my favourite ladies patio-style.  We soaked up some summer rays and people watched the always busy 17th Ave.  This is what July in YYC is all about.  Please don't end summer....

After an intense thunder/hail storm and tornado watch in the suburbs, the sky cleared, and made way for a sunshine-filled evening.
Our monthly girls night led us to 80th & Ivy, located at 1127 17 Ave SW, because well let's face it, I love it there (yes, this is me taking full credit for dinner, you're welcome.)  Wonderful food and a great location, made for a more than enjoyable night among friends.

Here's a look at our evening in food.  I apologize in advance for making you hungry.

the eats:

pear & gorgonzola pizza |  caramelized onion, wilted kale, balsamic honey

pear, bacon & brie chicken sandwich |  brie, roasted pears, bacon, mixed greens, garlic aioli

tuna club |  seared albacore tuna loin, lemon caper aioli, bacon, romaine, crispy fried onion

red thai curry halibut |  pistachio crusted, mashed potato croquette, asparagus
Any guesses to what I ordered?
If you follow this blog/my eating adventures, it probably doesn't come as a shock that the pear & gorgonzola pizza has my name/stomach written all over it.  I was actually contemplating ordering a second pizza for dessert, but didn't (you should know I'm now regretting this decision.)  Seriously, what is it about that combination, on pizza, that gets me every single time.  I love it.

Thanks 80th & Ivy, for yet again, a delightful evening.  We all left with happy, full bellies and will likely return for round 2 in the very near future.  Until next time....(or maybe this weekend for me...)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Healthiest Whole Grains

In years past, carbs have been given some bad press, but it's important to know that not all carbs are created equal.  So before you pass up on grains all together, let's instead look at some healthy swaps for the refined "bad" carbs (white bread, pasta, cookies & sugary cereals) by looking to replace them with whole grains.   Here are some healthy ones that should fill your pantries and your bellies alike.

  • Whole Wheat
  • Whole Oats
  • Bulger
  • Brown Rice
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole Wheat Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Corn

Carbovores unite.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Summertime Baked Oatmeal: Strawberry Rhubarb Edition

Baked oatmeal is a weekend treat in our house (when we give pancakes the day off that is.)  Our typical Monday to Friday routine includes Bran Flakes, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruit.  Quick, healthy, and beyond easy...

Today I threw caution to the wind and baked our weekend treat on a Tuesday, for purely selfish reasons of course, I wanted it.
I'm on a rhubarb kick as of late, thanks to my parents and their never ending supply of the stalky vegetable.  So this morning I decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb baked oatmeal.  Perfect for summer or pretty much whenever, because it's heavenly.  In fact if we are taking favourites, this might just be it.  Correction, this is it.

Best part of this baked oatmeal?  It does double duty.  Breakfast served with tea, and dessert served with vanilla ice cream. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal 

2 cups Quaker quick oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 1/4 cup strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup rhubarb, diced 1/2 - inch thick

Preheat oven to 375F.  Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.
Combine oats, 1/4 cup pecans, sugar, coconut, baking powder, salt, and zest in a bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk milk, egg, orange juice, and vanilla.
Sprinkle two-thirds of strawberries and rhubarb at the bottom of the coated baking dish.  Cover with oat mixture.  Slowly drizzle milk mixture over the oats.  Gently tap dish on work surface to distribute liquid.  Scatter remaining berries, rhubarb and nuts across the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is nicely golden and oat mixture has set.  Allow to cool slightly.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mo' Rhubarb, Mo' Problems...

Or not...
How on earth could you possibly find any problems with having too much rhubarb?  That's like saying I have too much money, pfff, doesn't happen..

Since I've already tackled loaves, pie, parfaits, and bars, the next item on my culinary-rhubarb bucket list is a crisp.
Individual crisps to be exact.  I like having access to my very own dessert bowl, plus, the ones remaining travel well, making them ideal to bring along to any summer BBQ or potluck.

Strawberry Rhubarb is a flavour favourite, but I always love to enhance it even more by adding in orange zest.  It's my secret (or now not so secret) baking weapon...
Enjoy!  Love JS.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

2 cups rhubarb, chopped 1-inch thick
2 cups strawberries, halved or quartered (depending on size)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup of 'oat crumb mixture' 

oat crumble topping
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 4 individual ramekins with non stick spray, set aside.
In medium bowl whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, salt.  Add in butter and using hands work into mixture until crumbly.  Set aside.
Place rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, zest, orange juice, and 1/2 cup prepared 'oat crumble topping' and stir to combine.
Divide rhubarb mixture equally among 4 ramekins and top each with the remaining oat crumble topping.
Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes until fruit is bubbly and hot and topping is golden brown.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Smoothie Love: A Collection

Summer months make smoothies an ideal choice when trying to beat the heat.  Packed with fresh fruit and protein-rich you are sure to satisfy a hungry belly, cool down, all without doing much damage to your summer figure.  #happyday

Here are some of my go-to favourites.
Enjoy & go and get your smoothie on.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate

Green Tea & Blueberry

Blueberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Oatmeal

PB & J 


Orange Banana

Strawberry Avocado

Pumpkin Pie


Almond Butter, Banana & Oatmeal

Green Monster (w/ Spinach, Cantaloupe, Banana, Blueberries)

"Green" Cran-Apple

Happy Smoothie Making!

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