Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ravioli in a New Light - Deconstructed Pesto

Ever want to take something and dismantle it and put it back together in hopes that it would spring back to life?
I once tried to help an old boyfriend put together a car from the frame up.
There were missing pieces, a lot of swearing but in the end it ran well (I refuse to say that a 1981 camaro is a good looking machine).

As I sat perched on my dining room chair staring at some pesto chicken sausages that we picked up on one of our trips to the Mennonite butchers I got to thinking.... I could eat that with just about anything but I loved the idea that it had pesto all intertwined with the chicken.  And then I remembered the camaro.  Presto (teehee).
What about a sauce that had all the flavors of pesto but not in the traditional sense?
So out of my chair I bounded and into the kitchen a went.

It worked.
It was delicious.
We will have it again.

It was quite simple to prepare.  A few steps really.

Getting your sauce ingredients ready

Along with your ravioli stuffing

And I even cheated - I used wonton wrappers and then made em all pretty like with my pastry cutter!

Hope you'll try this out and enjoy it like we did!

I'm Listening to: I Love Rock n Roll - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (1981)
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

One More Reason to Love the Farmers Market

Ok, I needed to get that out!
I'm better now.
Ok NOW I'm good.

What's so exciting?
The Farmers Market of course!
Ive mentioned before just how much I love them, I wish we had year round ones in my area because I'd be there weekly come  hell snow or high water.
We still go weekly to pick our "veggie of the week" although now we're nearing a point where we've pretty much tried everything they've got to offer, except kohlrabi....I'm still a little hesitant.

We have a few markets that are in close proximity to my house (3 actually) but the most convenient and bountiful is the Pickering Town Centre Market which runs weekly on Tuesday's, May-October (OMG its almost done, sigh).
I think Tuesday is a perfect day to head to the market, it allows you to have fresh veggies and fruit all work week long!
They are open later for the after workers who want to pop in to perhaps pick up dinner items and the location couldn't be better....its in the MALL parking lot!
Shop for shoes, shop for squash, win win really.

So why else am I so excited?
Because they had a recipe contest, I entered.
I became a finalist, one of 3.
They had a local culinary school take our recipes and create them for judges.

Please note I just came from work, thank goodness they didn't take a full body shot or they
woulda got the flour and buttercream on my pants :)

I mean, I like my food, the boys say they love my food but now 3 professionals confirmed that this dish was truly worthy :)

The recipe entered was a dish I like to prepare in the summer with veggies straight from the market, the balsamic vinegar caramelizes when it bakes down and adding the smooth creamy goat cheese really amps up the flavor profiles!
If you'd like the recipe you can click here

Thanks to the Pickering Farmers Market for hosting such a fun opportunity!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Goin Green - Healthy Smoothies for Life

I BOUGHT A VITAMIX!!!  (about a week ago but I've been lazy at posting, sorry)

Overpriced you say?
Maybe.  If you don't have one.
I thought the same thing....even though I wanted one.

So here we were, walking around Costco and what do I peer?
A little stand with a big presence.
A woman, calmly and excitedly making soup, making ice cream, making rice flour passing the samples around.
I must have stood awestruck for a good 10 minutes (the whole time the Mr. is glaring at me, glaring at the price chart, glaring back at me).
That's it.
I'm roped in.
I can't help it.
I wanted it.
I bought it.

Now, what should I name it?!?!
Is it a male presence in the kitchen perhaps, because its rugged, tough, dare I say sexy?
Yup, its definitely a male.....stay tuned on his name.

So now put him to good use.
I figured the first step was to see what all the hype about making smoothies with this machine was about - that and its likely best to start with something less intimidating when you don't know what to expect from the machine itself.
I had bought a magic bullet because I saw the infomercials and people swore by them, I hated it.  It never broke down my ice for my cocktails the way I wanted it to be, it liked to overheat a lot it was a mess to glad I no longer need this device!!

So lets get down to the green (and I don't mean how much I spent, its a sore spot)

The beginning of a love affair.  It REALLY REALLY does what it says its going to do!

Here's what was in our very first GREEN smoothie.

handful of grapes
1 stalk celery, halved
1 in. round piece of pineapple (core or not)
1/2 an orange, most of the rind cut off (but left some on for nutritional value)
handful of spinach
1 c. ice
That's it

Starting on speed 1 and slowly moving to 10 then the "high" switch blend for about 45 seconds.
Could that really be all it takes?

And....drink your fruits and veggies family :)

It is pretty easy to be green Kermit....
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Monday, September 3, 2012

A Summer Fairwell....

Ya right.
I'm not giving up on summer yet.
This gal is gonna wear white even though we're passed Labor Day!
Rebel, I know.

We're still BBQ'in.  There's no reason to stop.
We actually just invested in a propane deck heater too, which not only will be nice for the cooler evenings but for when we want to bbq in the dead of winter!

Our weekend was pretty tame in comparison to years passed.  We hung out at the cottage with the family and then we bypassed rushing cottager traffic and jetted home earlier so we could fiddle around at home and I got some much needed fridge clean up time.
I like to make batches of items, like a squirel hoarding for winter.
This weekend was homemade burgers.  Some stuffed with cheese, some ladden with caramelized onions and of course a few peppercorn burgers made their way to the freezer too.

What goes with hamburgers?
Yes, corn does too.
Even better is steak fries!
OVEN BAKED (gasp!)
Smooth on the inside and crispy and flavorful on the out, just the way they should be!

I hope you enjoyed your last long weekend of the summer too!

I'm Listening to: The Last Day of Summer, The Cure
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Watermelon & Coconut Cupcakes - Kid Approved!

Guess what.
I received a watermelon in the mail!  In a big box!
Who gets those?
This gal!
That's not all I received...a few aprons, a couple of new cutting boards and this awesome watermelon knife was also part of the package sent by the National Watermelon Promotion Board in search of some kid friendly original watermelon recipes and carvings.

This request sparked some creative juices flowing (and some watermelon juices running down my chin too!) and I have happily come up with something any kid would love - a cupcake!
Yes, there are watermelon cupcakes out there in Google land but there aren't any that have a coconut filling!
This screams beach, refreshing, summer!

This recipe needed to be kid friendly but also mom/dad friendly.  Normally I would make my cupcakes from scratch but not everyone has time for that so I did the next best thing - I enhanced a store bought mix using ingredients you already have in your house.

You will need:
cake mix
sour cream
powdered coconut milk
icing sugar
blender or food processor
fine mesh sieve
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