Monday, 27 February 2017

Juniper Bistro

brunch w/ a mountain view is just plain good for the soul.  mr handsome and i decided to try out a new venue for our weekly banff brunch, juniper bistro.  located at the base of mount norquay not only is the food delicious but the wall to wall windows offer unbeatable views.
it was the perfect precursor to our hike and day spent in nature.


it's also going to be where you'll find me next sunday because it's my new favourite breakfast spot.

smashed avocado on grilled sourdough |  blistered cherry tomato, evoo, arugula, soft poached egg.  served w/ green onion hash

salmon benny |  citrus biscuit, house smoked wild salmon, medium-poached eggs, hollandaise, lemon creme fraiche, pickled shallots.  served w/ brown butter hash

and now to explore the beautiful lake minnewanka and find a street name that matches mr. handsome.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

turkey & spinach meatloaf

each time i hear the word "meatloaf" immediately i want to break out and do a rendition of 'i would do anything for love'  it's a quirk of mine.  my only quirk obviously, or not....

growing up we had meatloaf often, almost weekly.  i loved it then, and i love it still. 

this one is no different.  made with ground turkey and spinach, it's moist, extremely flavourful and the perfect beginning to our week after an indulgent weekend away.


Turkey & Spinach Meatloaf

1 1/2lb ground turkey
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated onion
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

pretheat oven to 350F.
in large bowl combine all the ingredients above and using hands mix to combine.  place in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes.
meanwhile make glaze by mixing together all three ingredients.  set aside.
remove from oven and brush the top of the meatloaf with the prepared glaze.  return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

creamy whipped parsnips

while you can't deny the deliciousness that are creamy mashed potatoes, they aren't something you are likely to eat daily, unless you're mr. handsome and then you could pretty much survive solely on the side dish alone.
but i figured out a way to make them a little healthier, hence we can have them more often, thanks to a good 'ol fashion swap out.
 enter...the parsnip.  
one of my favourite root vegetables, it lends itself well to roasting and mashing, making it a healthy side dish to accompany any main.  last night i went the mashed root, adding a little sour cream and butter to make them even better.

simple suppers are my jam!

creamy whipped parsnips

1 1b parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sour cream 
sea salt & pepper to taste
parsley for garnish

in large pot add in parsnips, potatoes, and whole garlic cloves.  cover with water and add a large pinch of salt.  cook till vegetables are fork tender, 20-25 minutes.
remove from heat and drain.  add in butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and beat with mixer until smooth.  garnish with parsley.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

salted caramel buttercream frosting

the little man in our house, who seemingly isn't so little anymore, turned nine yesterday.  in addition to starting the day with pancakes we also made sure to end the day with plenty of chocolate cake, at his request of course.

not just any chocolate cake though, chocolate cake with a delicious salted caramel buttercream frosting.

a fancy frosting because you only turn nine once.  
now if you'll excuse me i have more cake to eat


salted caramel buttercream frosting


2 sticks butter, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
pinch salt


combine all of the ingredients in a stand mixer and beat on low speed until well combined.


Friday, 17 February 2017

blueberry-lemon dutch baby pancakes

last night you fell asleep as an eight year old, this morning you woke up to be nine.  i can whole-heartedily say that i love you more and more with each passing day.  your kindness, thoughtfulness and ability to go above and beyond in every facet of your life makes me proud beyond measures.  happy birthday little man.  you own my heart.

we celebrate every birthday in our house with pancakes.  it's tradition.  i love traditions.  today we decided on making dutch baby pancakes with lemon and blueberries.  
these pancakes are perfect since you aren't limited to cooking over the stove top, they puff up in the oven allowing you more cartoon watching and present opening time with your favourites.

now we are off to the lego batman movie, dinner out and about to cap the night off with my chocolate cake & salted caramel buttercream frosting.

cheers. xo.

blueberry-lemon dutch baby pancakes


3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated 20-30 seconds in the microwave
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup frozen blueberries

confectioners' sugar and maple syrup for serving


preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
place butter in a large saute pan and place in the oven to melt.
meanwhile, combine the eggs and milk and whisk until the mixture is light yellow and no longer string, about 1 minute.  add the flour, sugar, lemon zest and whisk vigorously to remove the lumps, about 30 seconds.
carefully, remove the hot pan from the oven.  the butter should be melted.  swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and whisk to blend.  pour the batter into the hot pan and top with blueberries,  return the pan to the oven. 
cook for 23-28 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed in the centre, and golden brown along the edges.
sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve with maple syrup.

note:  remove the pancake from the pan immediately and place on a cooling rack to allow the steam to escape without making the pancake soggy.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

How to Upgrade Boxed Cake Mix

confession:  i never make cakes from scratch.
is that bad?  i mean i'm a food blogger, i kind of feel like i'm cheating.  
meh, oh well, just because i opt to let duncan or betty do all the work doesn't mean i don't try and elevate the beloved box cake mix by adding a few extra ingredients.  i guess that makes it half homemade, right?

Liam is turning 9 tomorrow (how, i'm still not entirely sure??) 
i asked him what kind of cake he wanted me to make him, of course he said with enthusiasm "chocolate!"  i'm not sure why i ask anymore, i think it's because secretly i'm hoping one year he'll say confetti or lemon (that's the hopeful me and my wishful thinking)
so if chocolate is what he wants at least i can make a frosting we can both agree on salted caramel buttercream.  stay tuned for that one...

anyways i thought i would share a couple of my tips on how to make box cake mix taste like homemade.

  • whole milk.  swap out the water and add full fat milk. 
  • add an extra egg.  
  • melted butter in place of oil
  • add 1 TBSP sour cream
there you have it, simple swaps that will certainly elevate your birthday cake eating experience.

cheers. xo.

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