April 27, 2012

Spicy Pea Soup

Spicy Pea Soup

With the warm weather we had last week (I painted my toes & wore sandals for 2 days in a row!), my thoughts have been with spring and greenery.  My hubby has started some of my herbs indoors and I bought a basil plant recently too.  I am very much looking forward to a tasty palate of fresh greens and meals with light and crisp flavors.

I was in the mood for soup and I was reminded of my Spicy Butternut Squash Soup.  However, I wanted something light and spring appropriate. In my butternut squash soup, I had used red curry paste and this time I decided on green curry paste. I felt that the green chilies and lemongrass flavors would be a great complement the peas. You can find these curry pastes in the ethnic section of your grocery store.

Pea Soup with green curry paste

Spring may be shy, preferring to delay it's appearance but my meals sure don't have to be!


April 24, 2012

Leek Gratin

Leek Gratin

After picking up the kids from school, a handful of parents loiter around in front of the school, talking about our day and other hot topics as our children play together.

"What ya making for supper?"

"I'm making a leek gratin side dish!"

*crickets chirping*

At first I thought maybe they didn't hear me. There were no usual oooh's and ahhh's, no comments on the dish sounding tasty or the typical "hey, we're coming to your house for supper" type of joke. Just some awkward silence and then the eyes averting my gaze soon clued me in.

"If you like that sort of thing."

I can understand, leeks are part of the onion and garlic family, and people don't boast about how much they love onions and garlic. Onion gratin just doesn't sound right I suppose but I always looked at leeks a bit differently. Maybe I took my love of vegetables too far? Would Mikey like it? Maybe not but I'm not Mikey and I really liked it.

The leeks were soft in their creamy surrounding and the crunchy bread topping was a great juxtaposition in texture. I didn't add enough salt and pepper to the leek mixture as I was afraid the parmesan cheese would add enough of a salty kick but I know now to add some more for next time. Yes, there will be a next time.

Hubby liked it enough and when he took leftovers to work the next day for lunch, folks were asking what he was eating because it smelled so good.

"Leek gratin"

*crickets chirping*

"Huh, if you like that sort of thing."


April 16, 2012

Eat Alberta 2012

*FOREWORD- I chose photos, best of my abilities, to not include participants but only the presenters. If any of the presenters are not comfortable with their images on my page, please send me an email at oomelement@gmail.com

For businesses/commercial uses, please contact me for a licensing agreement. However, if you would like to use any photos taken from Eat Alberta Conference for personal use, please shoot me an email and include full credit/link back to me from your personal site. Thanks for your understanding.

Also: Visit my Portfolio! MakiB Photography


Yes, get ready to SCROLL! I apologize but it is REALLY hard to show only a few photos when you took as MANY as I did so this blogpost is a long one! For more information on all these great presenters, please follow the links or go to the Eat Alberta site for more information on all the amazing presenters.

The second annual Eat Alberta conference was held at NAIT. It was a wonderful venue for all the seminar. The conference started with breakfast at Ernest's dining hall followed by Keynote presentation by Shannon and Danny Ruzicka, farmers of Nature's Green Acres.

Eat Alberta 1
Then the different sessions broke out. 2 sessions before lunch and then 2 afterwords. Whether it was a tasting/learning session or a hand-on session, there was a lot going on in the kitchens and classrooms at NAIT!

April 5, 2012

Leek Frittata

Leek Frittata

I'm not into fussy food or food that requires a lot of preparation. I like simple food, showcasing the wonderful flavors of the ingredients, without a lot of effort making it. Beautiful fresh food often speaks for itself.

I have a love for green vegetables, especially the unique flavor of leeks. My mother often made leek omelettes and it's a comfort food that reminds me of my family breakfasts. My parents always grew and continue to grow leeks in their garden. There is nothing better than freshly pulled vegies from the garden straight to the plate. I can't wait for summer so that I can continue to do the same. Until then, thank you grocery markets for supplying me with my food needs.

Skillet Frittata

This is a great dish for breakfast, lunch or brunch. The dish reminds me of spring and summer and even though we have a pile of snow outside today I feel like the green grass is just around the corner.

And, if you are wondering, my kids won't touch this dish with a 10 foot pole but they just don't know what they are missing, if you ask me! Which is fine because I don't like sharing it :)

Update:  Here's a link for this recipe and interview for Revive Wellness' Love to Lunch series.


April 3, 2012

Ariel Under the Sea Cake

Ariel "Under the Sea" Cake

My princess had her birthday party this weekend. She wanted an Ariel mermaid cake but wanted to be completely surprised on what it would look like. I thought an "under the sea" theme would be perfect.

I have made my children's cakes every year and each year I progressively add more work for myself. However, I admit, it's almost purely selfish as I love every single minute of it. My kitchen looks like a flour and sugar bomb went off in it with all my baking and decorating supplies sprawled out onto every available counter surface. But, I couldn't care less about the mess. I really have so much fun coming up and executing the ideas. The challenge of it all has me giddy with joy.

I bought the Ariel and friends figurines from The Disney Store. All of the fondant was made using the following marshmallow fondant recipe. A tip for those of you wondering how I have a zigzag shape with some of the fondant sea grass pieces, I used playdoh tools! Yup, my kids have some various playdoh tools that I have washed and keep for my own decorating purposes now that they have outgrown them! They have a couple of rolling tools that create the zigzagged edges!

My daughter's eyes lit up with happiness when she removed her hands from over her eyes to reveal herself the cake. It was a fantastic moment for me and her. Though, I do admit, I am quite happy that my kids have their birthdays spaced out on the opposite end of the calendar years so that I may recharge for the next one!
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