Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mexican Street Corn Style Grilled Zucchini


those of you who are close to me/understand me, fully get my obsession with elotes; mexican street corn.  grilled corn smothered in a creamy-lime-chili spiked sauce covered with cheese and cilantro. #amazing
if it's on the menu, i'll order it, if i'm at home, i'll make it                     .  and sometimes even up the ante by adding creamy avocado. #thebest
                                                  
tonight we were out of corn, but in full supply of fresh zucchini, and if memory serves me right, i remembered stumbling upon a pinterest post that subbed out corn for squash, so i immediately jumped on board.



the result?
equally delicious. and even more so after clocking in a solid 10 miles on foot today.  
cheese and mayo for the win. always.


Mexican Street Corn Style Grilled Zucchini                                             

ingredients:
3-4 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup cotija or queso fresco or feta, crumbled 
cilantro, chopped 
cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 lime, juiced

method:

grill the zucchini over medium-high heat until just tender, about 2-3 minutes per side, brush with the mixture of butter and mayo, sprinkle on the  cheese, cilantro, cayenne and lime juice.  enjoy.

adapted recipe courtesy: closet cooking


Friday, 27 May 2016

Starbelly


finally the se quadrant of the city now has a good gourmet-casual restaurant that doesn't require travelling downtown to get to.   don't get me wrong, 17th ave, 4th street & kensington house some of my favourite restaurants, but now we have a stand alone, non-chain-like restaurant that i can get to in 5 minutes, Starbelly. 

aside from the decor, which let's be honest is exactly what i love, exposed brick, reclaimed barnboard; character at it's finest.  they also house a great lunch menu and $5 glasses of wine during happy hour. 


this alone made it the perfect venue for a rainy friday afternoon date with my favourite once again calgarian, ST.
after being separated far too long by an inconvenient ocean, we are now reunited and determined to once again tackle every restaurant within the 403 area code.  

cheers to the weekend.xo


 mac & cheese |  4 cheese, house bacon, pickled peppers

pastrami sandwich |  cheddar, fancy sauce, rye bread, brassica mustard.  served w/ russet fries & caesar salad

roasted beet & pulled chicken salad |  local beets, arugula, walnuts, chèvre & smoked honey vinaigrette 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Grilled Romaine Hearts w/ Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing


just because it's pouring rain outside doesn't mean you can't send your handsome husband to grill you a salad right?
thought so.
#bringaponcho

fresh romaine hearts sliced lengthwise, grilled till charred & smokey & finished with a healthy homemade caesar dressing.
simple.healthy.sunday-win.

thanks for braving the elements to make me a healthy dinner.  you're the best JS.


Grilled Romaine Hearts w/ Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

ingredients:
2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed, trimmed, sliced lengthwise
olive oil
salt and pepper

dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

sourdough croutons for serving.


method:

to make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until creamy.  adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  if you find the dressing is still too thick, thin it out with a little water.  set aside.
to grill the romaine hearts, heat the grill to medium-low.  brush the cut side of the lettuce with oil and season with salt and pepper.  place the lettuce face down on the grill until char marks appear and lettuce begins to wilt, approximately 1 minute.   flip the hearts over and grill on the other side for 1 minute more.  remove from heat.
pour prepared dressing over the lettuce and top with croutons.
enjoy.

serves 4
 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sriracha-Honey Buttered Corn on the Cob

                    
let's face it, a barbecue isn't a BBQ if corn on the cob isn't on the menu.        
     
      there is something so summer-like {even when the weather doesn't cooperate} about grilled corn on the cob, slathered in warm butter, sweetened with honey and spiced with sriracha.
 perfection, if i'm being honest.                    
    
trust me. 
                                                   
in fact if it was socially acceptable & guaranteed my pants would still fit, i most certainly would drink this sriracha-honey butter, never mind reserving it just for ears of corn that i'm about to consume in vast quantities.
 

                    

Grilled Corn on the Cob w/ Sriracha-Honey Butter 

ingredients:
4 ears of corn, husks & silk removed
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

method: 

preheat grill to medium-hot.
spray each ear of corn with non-stick spray and place on grill.
rotate when char marks appear and kernels deepen in color approximately 2 minutes, until ears are uniformly cooked {approximately 8-10 minutes} 
meanwhile, whisk together warm melted butter, honey and sriracha in a small bowl.  set aside.

brush cooked, warmed corn with butter mixture and serve.

                     

Strawberry Sauce


a rainy sunday morning goes perfect with james taylor music and homemade waffles and fresh strawberry sauce.
plain and simple.xo.



Strawberry Sauce

ingredients:
2 cups strawberries, diced {fresh or frozen}
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

method:
in small saucepan over low heat,  combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.  bring to a boil and simmer until mixture reduces and thickens, approximately 15 minutes.  remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
spoon over your favourite waffle or pancake recipe.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

tequila-lime cheesecake bars


i finally decided to crack open the bottle of tequila that accompanied mr. handsome and i back from our mexican vacation.  
it's pretty much standard practice of any good canandian to bring home good tequila so that they can be reminded of the vacation that once was.  this is especially important on a depressingly rainy long weekend.


i decided to leave the shot glasses in the cupboards and instead tackle tequila in a different fashion, bake with it.
  
a creamy lime and tequila cheesecake to be exact. 
because cheesecake is king after all. 
and my supreme weakness.  
and exactly what is needed to share among friends, or eat in a dark corner alone.


so if you don't mind i will be hiding in a dark corner somewhere with a fork.  cheers.


Tequila-Lime Cheesecake Bars

ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cup honey graham cracker crumbs
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lime zest
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons cointreau
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large eggs, room temperature

method:
preheat oven to 350F.
line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with oil.
to make crust: stir together melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until combined.  press gently into the bottom of the foil lined pan.
beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  add lime juice & zest, tequila, cointreau and cream.  mix until completely combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.  beat in eggs, one at a time.
pour cream cheese mixture over graham cracker crust, spread into corners.  bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the centre sets up (it should have a very slight jiggle.)
allow to cool completely in pan, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, before cutting into squares.

recipe courtesy: sweetpeasandsaffron.com


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

source: the chalkboard mag 
i've recently become obsessed with apple cider vinegar.  
weird obsession i know, but thanks to pinterest and overall mainstream popularity, i've thrown caution to the wind and jumped on board, making it part of my daily morning routine.

 for starters, the health benefits that go along with the organic, raw & unfiltered cider vinegar are aplenty, and best of all it's cheap, like super cheap, like $6.29/943ml kind of cheap.


common daily dosages can range from 1-2 teaspoons to 1-2 tablespoons.
i opt for 1 tablespoon diluted in water & sometimes squeeze in a little of honey, or if i'm feeling super adventurous mixed into my tea or juice.


below are the gritty details & health benefits attributed with acv.
cheers & bottoms up!
xo.



THE GRITTY DETAILS: Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from pulverized apples. Unpasteurized ACV contains “mother of vinegar,” which has a strain-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed. Apple cider vinegar is made through two fermentation processes. In the first stage of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. In the second fermentation process the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). This process results in a blend of acetic acid and malic acid. These acids are what gives vinegar its sour taste, as well as its name, “sour wine.” The curative properties of apple cider vinegar are mostly due its naturally-occurring acids. Although counterintuitive, the acidic nature of vinegar has an alkalizing effect on the body once ingested. These acids also increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat, while also slowing down the absorption of sugars.
DIGESTIVE RELIEF: Clinical evidence has shown that apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion if taken before a meal. Being an alkalizing agent, it can ease symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, while also aiding in the breakdown of ingested foods.
SORE THROATS AND UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS: Believed to be anti-bacterial, the use of apple cider vinegar for sore throats and upper respiratory infections is promising. By gargling, many people find pain relief and an expedited recovery from illness.
ALKALIZE THE BODY (PH): Apple cider vinegar, along with a plant-based diet, can help alkalize the body. Alkaline tissue means that there is more oxygen in the body, which creates an environment that inhibits the growth of pathogens (fungus, bacteria, parasites). In addition, an alkaline pH helps reduce inflammation, improve bone health, may increase the growth hormone, and buffer toxins.
IMPROVE SKIN: The skin is a direct reflection of the health of the gut, so by improving digestion, apple cider vinegar can help the skin as well. Some benefits include relief from acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and rosacea.
BLOOD SUGAR: Several studies have found that apple cider vinegar may help to lower blood sugar levels. In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals.
WEIGHT LOSS: Research has shown that drinking apple cider vinegar before eating promotes weight loss. In a study, participants took two tablespoons of vinegar prior to two meals a day. After a four-week period, participants lost an average of two pounds, and some lost up to four pounds!
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: Due to its acetic acid content, research has shown that apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure. In another study done in 2006, vinegar directly helped to lower cholesterol in laboratory rats.
CANCER: A few scientific studies have indicated that vinegar may be able to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. In particular, apple cider vinegar may be effective for esophageal cancer treatment.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

cantaloupe breakfast bowls


no bowls are required for this super simple, healthy and ultimately delicious breakfast.    all you need is half a cantaloupe and your trustiest spoon and your all set.


in case you wanted an update, i'm still head over heals for cantaloupe following my overdose of cantaloupe from our mexican getaway.  i'm guilty of going through two per week and with summer on the horizon it's likely that number will increase.


back to breakfast.  cantaloupe breakfast bowls are my newest and tastiest creation that are filled with everything i love at the moment...   
fresh blackberries
ripe bananas
creamy greek yogurt
crunchy granola
pure perfection
cheers xo.



 cantaloupe breakfast bowls

ingredients:
1/2 cantaloupe, flesh scooped out
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 cup granola

method:
layer yogurt into the scooped out cantaloupe.  add berries, bananas and granola.
grab a spoon and enjoy.  xo.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Blackberry & Goat Cheese Salad w/ Candied Pecans


a salad isn't a salad unless it contains 50% cheese & 50% candied nutsat least that's how salad works in my world.


blackberries
goat cheese
candied pecans
this salad screams summer.
and today it also screams lunch. 
#whatsnottoolove

  




Blackberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:
6 cups mixed greens
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup candied pecans (recipe follows)
dressing (recipe follows) 

Method:

To assemble: Combine blackberries and mixed greens in a large bowl.  Add dressing, using as much or as little as desired.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese and candied pecans

disclaimer:  because I'm a cheese and nut fanatic, I tend to err on the side that more is better.  feel free to change the amounts to suit your preference.


Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
pinch of salt

In small bowl, whisk vinegar with honey, dijon, and salt.  Slowly whisk in oil until well combined.



Candied Pecans:

1/2 cup halved pecans
4 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 Tbsp water

Place pecans, sugar and water in small saucepan set on medium heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until golden and pecans are coated, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
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