September 29, 2009

Brits Fish and Chips

Brit's Fish and Chips

We talked about going out for fish and chips for quite some time. When we lived in Vancouver, we used to take my hubby's aunt out to Troll's, a well known fish and chips restaurant. I had missed the fried fish, coated exactly to my liking with malt vinegar and salt, while overlooking the water in the bay.

We live in Edmonton now and we weren't sure where to go for fish and chips. We had quite a few people throughout the summer mention Brits Fish and Chips so we chose the downtown location. Instead of looking at mountains and water, we overlooked the parking lot and Oliver Square stores from our seats. Not quite the same at all.

We ordered a couple of beers for us and juices for the kids and decided upon the fish sampler and fries. This way, we can try a variety of fish. We sat at our table and the staff brought the children coloring books and crayons. YAY! I must say, the staff was absolutlely wonderful.

The sampler arrived and then I looked at my husband confused. The fish came all together, piled onto the plate, with no way to tell the difference between them. I couldn't tell you the difference between fried cod and fried halibut. I guess I could have asked but with two children in tow, digging in was all we could do.

We don't eat a lot of fried foods and the four of us couldn't finish off the sampler and fries. The fish was not greasy, as the paper underneath the fried fish pieces was barely soaked, but my stomach was very full for the rest of the evening. I think I have to slowly work myself up to fish and chips because it was a bit much for this lightweight.

Many people swear Brit's has wonderful fish and chips, though I can't really give you a yay or nay because I haven't eaten enough fish and chips to be able to compare. I also haven't eaten fish and chips in a restaurant since we left Vancouver, well over five years ago. So, I guess you'll have to go and make your own opinion about it.

---

Brits Fish and Chips
11603-104 Ave location
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2R1

September 25, 2009

sunflowers

sunflower

Since it's now officially fall I thought I'd share some pictures of the little sunflower sitting on my dining room table.

Sorry, didn't feel like doing a recipe post today.

I'm sitting at my computer, munching on Lucky Charms cereal (oh those little mini marshmallows are just divine). I don't let my kids eat cereal without milk, but when the kids are away, mom will eat away :)

sunflower 3

I'm trying to distract myself from cheese. I'm craving it REAL bad and I can't have any. I'm taking some medication this week and I'm supposed to avoid the dairy several hours before and after taking it. Of course I'm taking the meds twice a day. And that's why I'm craving cheese. Can only really have it mid day. I really wanted some melted gooey cheese so yesterday I had an early supper and ate a bunch of crackers with melted cheese on top. I know, you're probably wondering why I didn't just make a grilled cheese sandwich right? That's because my stove/oven died.

sunflower 2

My "professional series" appliance up and died. I guess it doesn't matter if you pay more for "quality". It is just over 5 years old I believe. I turned on the oven the other day and heard a pop and smelled a burning odor. But, no worries. My husband picked up the new parts and now it is back in working order. And it only cost $400 dollars to fix. FOUR HUNDRED. Highway robbery! We were contemplating whether we should just buy a new oven.

Thanks for letting me vent :) Hope you like the photos. Have a super weekend!

September 22, 2009

thousand island dressing

thousand island dressing

I can't remember the last time I had thousand island dressing.

Growing up, my mom and dad always made their own simple vinaigrettes but if they were going to buy a commercial salad dressing, it was always thousand island dressing.

They wouldn't venture off into other flavors. It was very similar in the potato chip department - the big deal was bbq flavored chips. That was the "big leap" from regular chips. I remember begging for a different flavor but with no luck.

I lived at home for about 20 years. Simple vinaigrette or thousand island were the only options for many of those 20 years. As my youngest brother got older, he seemed to bring in more varieties but until that happened - same old, same old.

Needless to say, I got really really tired of thousand island. In the 10 years I have been married, I have never bought a bottle of thousand island - even though my husband has asked on many occasions. I always shot down that suggestion.

So, this summer, I finally came around. I made a batch of thousand island dressing. Yes, I just needed that much time away to finally be able to come back to it.

And it was worth it. This recipe tastes just like I remember it, maybe even better.

Maybe I should make a batch for my parents? Homemade thousand island dressing... it might just blow their minds :)

...

thousand island dressing
makes 1.5 cups

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 pickle, finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar or splenda
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste, if needed.

Recipe from: Thousand Island Dressing, Bonnie Stern's essentials of home cooking.

September 20, 2009

freshly picked apples

freshly picked apples

...straight from my backyard.

Thought I'd share a picture of my apples, a nice end to Applesauce Week.

I'm a wee bit sad because my trees look barren now. Not only that, the leaves are turning yellow and are slowly falling off. I really do love fall but when we harvest all the garden produce, makes me feel sad that I have to wait a whole year more for tasty, fresh food.

Every year, I try to come up with many ideas to use up my apples. Unfortunately, a bunch of apples had to be thrown out but I did end up eating many of them too. The growing season this year didn't produce as much as we usually get but I have to admit, I'm kind of glad because life was a wee bit busy and it was hard to keep up.

I made quite a few apple crisps and of course some applesauce, which is now frozen, to be used at a later date. A batch of apple juice was made today and I still have to try it out. Never tried that before.

Sigh.

Goodbye Summer, fresh produce, farmer's markets and backyard BBQ's.

Hello Fall, root vegetables and a big mug of cocoa by the fireplace.

September 18, 2009

applesauce-raisin muffins

applesauce raisin muffins

I thinking all this walking to and from school to pick up my kids is making me hungry. Seriously. I'm hardly an exercise fanatic but now that I've added some energy expending, twice a day and 5 days a week, it has increased my appetite.

I'm not so sure how I feel about that. I love food so getting to eat more is always good and it's good for my blog but if I'm going to be busting a move, it wouldn't hurt to lose a pound or two either.

Well, winter will be around the corner and then it will be too cold to walk. Yes, I'm a wuss to the elements - not a fan of cold. I become almost like a hibernating bear... you don't see much of me in the winter.

Guess I'll just have to bake. Mini-muffins anyone?

...

Last recipe of this week's "Applesauce Week".

These ones are also very fiber filled, since it's made with bran and whole wheat flour. I make these and variations of them, often around here. They are so incredibly moist.


...

applesauce-raisin muffins
makes 16-18 mini-muffins or 12 regular muffins

3/4 cup natural bran
3/4 cup whole wheat
1/2 cup sugar or splenda
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup applesauce
1 egg, beat
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins

Combine all dry ingredients (first 6) into a bowl. Set aside.

Combine applesauce, egg, buttermilk and vegetable oil together. Add dry ingredients to the applesauce mixtures until just moistened. Fold in raisins.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of muffin. Let cool on rack for about 5 mintues and take them out of the muffin tins.

Recipe from: Apple-Raisin muffins, The Lighthearted Cookbook

September 16, 2009

applesauce gingerbread cake

applesauce gingerbread cake


Can't stop thinking of a friend from long time ago. Courageous and strong woman. I remember her always being cheery and a wonderful, kind person. Hope you are home from the hospital back with your family soon. Continue to be strong Shilpa. You are a survivor and a fighter.

...

Recipe 2 of Applesauce Week :)

With a whopping 2 cups of applesauce used in this recipe, this was right up my alley for using up my big batch of homemade applesauce.

The molasses and all the spices made me think of Christmas a bit, which is always a good thing. The cake was a moist and delicious.

...

applesauce gingerbread cake
makes 1 bundt cake

2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/3 cup oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1.5 cups Splenda

Whisk together applesauce, molasses, eggs and oil in a large bowl to combine.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and sugar in a medium bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the applesauce mixture and stir well. Spread the batter evenly into a bundt cake pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spay and dusted with flour.

Bake at 350F for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Cut and serve.

Recipe adapted from: Applesauce Gingerbread. The Splenda World of Sweetness.

September 14, 2009

applesauce spice bars

applesauce spice bars

Applesauce, applesauce, applesauce.

That is what this week is going to be about, as I have two other recipes to share with you later too.

I have two apple trees in my yard and it usually yields a lot of apples. This year's crop was smaller but enough to keep me busy. Unfortunately, the majority of them landed on the ground due to blustery winds. This yielded in bruised or gashed apples, not something I am very eager to eat. Instead, I made a big pot of applesauce with them.

Problem is my children are not interested in applesauce. They love apples, whole, but applesauce? No thanks and admittedly, it's not really my thing either. So, I scouted out a couple of recipes that use a larger volume of applesauce.

Enjoy!

...

applesauce spice bars
makes 42 bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Splenda granular
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 cups applesauce, unsweeteneed
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

Beat butter with splenda until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, soda, salt and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture, alternating with applesauce, making two additions of each.

Stir in raisins and pecans.

Pour into prepared 9x13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and cut.

Recipe from: Applesauce Spice Bars, Splenda recipe card from a magazine.

September 10, 2009

silence, cheesecakes and cherries, oh my!

rainier cherries

Shhhhh.....

Do you hear that?

You don't hear anything you say?

Exactly.

I am here, typing on this fine thursday evening and my house is quiet. Yes internet, my house is free of children and hubby tonight and the sound is oh so glorious!

Not to mention that my children have returned back to school and I have been doing the Most wonderful time of the year dance along with Staples.

Gosh, I really didn't think I'd be that happy that September rolled around but I have to say... it's exactly what I needed!

...

On another note, I wanted to post a ricotta cheesecake recipe tonight but for the !love of chocolate! I can't find the dang recipe. I have been looking everywhere for it.

Note to self: Do not scribble out your recipe notes onto a single sheet of paper, meaning to later type it into a blogpost, and wellllll, lose it. Yeah. The downfall of this foodblogger... recipes that go missing. It's right up there with how caramel got into the caramilk bar. Yeah, pretty mysterious!

rainier cherries2

So, forgive me. I may find it, I may not. Instead I processed some pretty pictures of rainier cherries I took a short while ago. Did you know that they are named after Mount Rainier in Washington State? I read that they cost more because they are so sweet that a bulk of the crop gets eaten up by birds. Lucky birds.

Well, I'm off to revel in the silence. Life is good. Peace out.

September 8, 2009

lentil feta salad

lentil feta salad

Well, my computer monitor is looking a bit better. Found out what some of the glitches are. I think I'll leave the hooking up of technology to my hubby from now on... it's not really my shtick.

In my pantry, I've got bags of different varieties of lentils that haven't found much use. I'm one of those well meaning people who buys bags of dried beans and legumes to use them in recipes but don't know of many recipes that use beans and legumes. Fortunately, I stumble upon some every once in a while, like this salad.

I've made this salad a couple of times already and I absolutely love it. There are quite a few ingredients but it is very worth it. There is crunch, there is some herbs, some acid, some feta cheese to add some zing and salt. It's all around a great salad and I have had quite a few people comment that they like it.

So break into your pantries and get out those lentils.
...


lentil feta salad
serves 6

1/2 cup slivered almonds (I used whole almonds that I chopped up - feel free to toast them if you like them that way too)
1 cup dry green lentils
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.5 cups diced cucumber
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet or red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup feta cheese

Toast almonds in a skillet, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and whole garlic, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mintues. Grain and rinse with cold water. Discard garlic.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add lentils, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Toss to coat.

Add almonds and crumbled feta. Serve.

Recipe adapted from: Lentil Feta Salad, Canadian Living Special Issue Summer 2008.

September 4, 2009

oatmeal cranberry cookies

oatmeal cranberry cookies

Meant to post earlier but my computer monitor up and died on me. I think I even heard a tiny screech right before it turned white and then completely black. Oh the sadness. This is especially heartbreaking since I had that monitor properly calibrated and profiled by a photographer friend (he has some hardware that will do that).

Today, I picked up a monitor from my brother in law who kindly offered to loan it to me. Very much appreciate it but the monitor is sorta off. Not sure what I'm going do.

sigh.

double sigh.


Today I offer you a oatmeal cranberry cookie. The weather is dreary and damp, fall is fast approaching, children are going to school and gosh darn it, an oatmeal cookies seems like the perfect comfort food to make everything seem ok.

It doesn't totally ease the broken monitor issue but not even chocolate dipped chocolate will do that.

triple sigh.

...

old-fashioned oatmeal cookies
makes 24 cookies

1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups rolled oats
2 cups cranberries

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, Beat butter and sugars on medium until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Add dry ingredients and rolled oats until combined. Mix in the cranberries.

Drop by heaping spoonful onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them far apart.

Bake the cookies at 350F for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from: Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies, Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking

September 1, 2009

ricotta pancakes

ricotta pancakes

Every once in a while, I like to try a different pancake recipe.

I prefer easy, non-laborous, pancake recipes, especially since it's hard to get going first thing in the morning, but I thought I'd give these a try anyways. Yes, if I have to beat egg whites separately and then FOLD them into the batter, that is an extra step I'm not interested in taking. I like to read the newspaper while sipping my coffee, not spending minutes beating the heck out of egg whites and messing up extra dishes, thankyouverymuch.

But, I was at the grocery store and bought some ricotta cheese for half the price. So, why not. The things I do for the blog :)

These were in fact very tasty. Nice texture and subtle ricotta taste. But, I think I'm still sticking to my easy buttermilk recipe.

...


ricotta pancakes
makes 16

3/4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-425g container of ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk

Mix together flour, sugar, powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Beat together ricotta and egg yolks in a large bowl until fluffy. Mix on low, alternating flour mixture and buttermilk in 2 additions until just blended.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Fold into ricotta mixture.

Drop 1/4 cup batter onto pan over medium heat, brushed with oil. Spread each pancake and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes and flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Top pancakes with vanilla yogurt and blueberries. Serve.

Recipe inspired from: Ricotta pancakes, bon appetit June 2008 magazine.
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