We’re like, in the end of “Die Hard” right now, only it’s our actual life! – Schmidt (21 Jump St)

To the answer the question you’ve all been asking, No, I haven’t forgotten about you. Not a day went by that I didn’t think “I wonder how those people who read about my life are getting on without me?” The answer to that query can be found below when you write a comment about how you’ve been doing since I skived off.

The past post was about a chicken cordon bleu roll-up, which was superb, but it was also eaten far too quickly to take pictures of. I switched out the ham that normally goes inside with fried onion and mushroom, and the pre-bread crumb dredge consisted of egg, almond milk, and dijon mustard. I’ll post the complete recipe in an hour or so when I get my computer back.

Two friends have come to visit from Vancouver for 2.5 weeks and since it is only 5:34AM Vancouver time, they are still asleep.

I obviously have some catching up to do, which means I’ll obviously miss some things and post them as I remember.

The Highlights:

It’s become far too hot for my morning coffee which saddens me, and I don’t always feel like making iced coffee so, I finally tried something that I’d been working on in my brainpan for a long while…I made coffee popsicles. But not just normal run of the mill popsicles because I knew it needed something sweet so they weren’t bitter. I took some popsicle moulds (I got mine at the dollar store) and poured a little bit of Hazelnut flavour syrup in the bottom, a little more than it takes to cover the bottom, and then filled the rest with coffee that I let cool down so it was warm, but not cold. The reason for this is I feel that once coffee gets completely cold, the taste changes and it can be rather unpleasant, so a little bit warmer than room temp is your goal, folks.

This was the result:

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I understand that coffee is not for everyone, and I also get where the coffee purists, snobs, are coming from as well with the mindset of “coffee should only be drank hot, and black!” That is all well and good, but in the dead heat of summer, I will take a coffee popsicle over a steaming cup of joe any day. I was even able to get my dad to try one and he really liked it, which surprised me because, other than milk, he doesn’t like much done to his coffee.

HERITAGE PARTY!

my good friend Ashton threw the First Annual Heritage Party on Saturday and I have to say, it was a lot of fun. We had a pot luck of Canadian dishes, and we had 5-6 people who were not from Canada so it was all new to them. Of course poutine was on the menu and, being lactose intolerant, I made my own version and brought it with me. It’s a very simple tweak on the normal recipe but at the same time quite different. (again, no picture, I’m sorry)

Rather than just bake the fries, I put some EVOO in my copper bottom frying pan and put it on low. Once it got up to temp, I threw in the fries and got them coated and let them cook for about five minutes, I then threw in my new culinary weapon…

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it’s great on everything, and it’s the perfect pick me up for fries without getting into prepackaged seasonings, not that there’s anything wrong with them, they just aren’t for me. I get this at the local farm market, and it is one of my culinary staples.

BACK TO POUTINE!

I kept the temp low and let the herbs imprint themselves on each and every fry, once they were about 5 minutes from being done, I went to work on the gravy. I didn’t make it from scratch, I used a can of heinz mushroom gravy, but I love the taste and a lot of people were very surprised it came from a can. Once again I used Daiya Dairy Free cheese and, since we live about 20 minutes away from Ashton’s, I mixed it all together in a casserole dish, covered it in tin foil and we were off. By sealing it all in, and reheating it later to eat, it became a poutine casserole and I got a lot of compliments on it.

When you’re a person with many dietary restrictions, it always feel good when people who have the option of eating “normally” and still choose your dish.

After the pot luck we all went into the barn where the screen was set up to get to the main reason we were all there, watching all 74 Heritage Minutes and having a Canadian Trivia night to prep for Canada Day, but also to prep those non-Canadians with the knowledge needed to make the transition. Important things like Great Big Sea, Stompin’ Tom, Alanis, Donairs and Dulce.

It was an excellent night and our team ALMOST won the much coveted Golden Inuk Shuk, hopefully the people will still know we were there.

Ok Emily, as promised, the recipe for Any Meal CasSurreal.

Yes, I had posted it before, but I’ve made several tweaks to it since then, and I believe I’ve got the best recipe/system for this beast. The reason it’s called the Any Meal CasSurreal is because it can be eaten at any meal because of the assortment of ingredients, and the bread that is on top, loses it’s “breadiness” through the egg wash and the cooking, kind of like french toast, which is where the surreal portion comes from. You want proof it can be eaten for any meal, you say? Fair enough, when I made it a few days ago, I realized around 10PM that I did, in fact, eat it for every meal.

You can put almost anything IN this dish, my staples are onion, green onion, mushroom, and a coloured pepper (normally red). The amounts also vary depending on how much variety you’d like your CasSurreal to have.

General rule of thumb is as follows:

8×8 pan

1/2 onion

1/2 pepper

3-4 mushrooms

1-2 stalks of green onion

This dish is also a good way to make use of last night’s leftovers. There was some chicken from supper that had been BBQ’d so I diced it up. I noticed it was kind of dry so I used science to rectify the situation. If mushrooms release a fair amount of liquid while cooking, and chicken tends to absorb the flavours of what it’s cooked with, then combining them in the pan should do the trick. I cooked the veggies at a low heat, onions and peppers first, and once I saw some colour on the onion, tossed in the chicken, let them mingle just enough for the chicken to take on some of the pepper’s red tinge and tossed in the mushrooms, mixed them all around and let them sit for a bit, letting it all cook down. The result was very moist chicken, and somewhere a Science teacher, who I told I’d never use anything he taught me, smiled to himself.

Once the veggies are all cooked place them in your 8×8 pan, now comes the egg and bread portion.

bowl

wax paper

8-9 eggs

4-5 slices of sourdough

small circular cookie cutter

sea salt and herbs

place a sheet of wax paper on the counter, big enough to rest 12-13 circles of sourdough and crack 7 eggs in your bowl. Add as much sea salt and herbs  as you wish to the eggs and beat the ever loving crap out of them. Once they are well mixed, start cutting circles out of your sourdough, the number of circles is entirely up to you. I tend to use 12 and place 3 rows of 4 across the top of the casserole, this makes it easier to cut as you can use the circles as indicators of portion size. For the sake of being artsy fartsy I used 13 today just to make a design, this is also completely acceptable as you’re the one you need to impress, I unfortunately can’t come over.

Once your sourdough is circled, take 3 at a time and place them in the bowl of egg and push them to the bottom, once they float back to the top, take them out of the bowl and place them on your wax paper.

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Now that they are all eggy and wonderful, pour the rest of your egg into the pan with your veg. This will ALMOST cover it, but not quite. Which is where the other two eggs you were wondering about come into play. Crack them into the bowl, whip ’em up, and toss them into the pan as well. Then it’s back to your handy dandy SS&H, henceforth this means Sea Salt & Herbs, it’s too long to keep typing haha. Sprinkle it across the top of the egg and veg, and them mix it all together so that it’s all laying somewhat evenly in the pan. Then comes the fun part, placing or tossing the bread circles on top o’ the feast.

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At some point during this burst of creative energy, you’ll want to set your oven to 350 degrees. I usually start getting mine to temp around the time I start dredging the bread. Now all you need to do is cheese your CasSurreal. As I mentioned before, I’m lactose intolerant, I use Daiya Dairy Free cheese which is soy, gluten, and dairy free and is tapioca based. It melts like cheese and tastes like cheese. It’s the only non dairy alternative that does cheese any justice. For those willing to give it a try, this is what you’re looking for.

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so what goes into the oven will look like this –

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and will come out looking like this –

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Hope you enjoy your Any Meal CasSurreal!

Let me know how yours turns out =)

in closing, I didn’t want a Grad Ring from NSCC, these are my Grad Chucks, designed by me. What better way to graduate from Business Admin – Marketing Concentration =P

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Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Better to be Silent and be Thought a Fool, then to Speak and Remove all Doubt – Abraham Lincoln

Today was perfectly uneventful. I stayed home, got work done, made two excellent meals, with leftovers in between, got caught up on two of my favorite shows, Suits and Franklin & Bash oddly enough both to do with lawyers. If you haven’t I suggest you check them both out, they are on their second seasons but the first are available.

Today also brought an awesome discovery as well. Someone who I had written off as being a waste of time and who I no longer wanted any association with has done something completely out of preconceived character. While respect may take some time to gain back, I have been able to see them in a completely different light, look at them from an entirely new perspective, and has just generally given me a new viewpoint. Not to say I’m going to rush out and declare BFFdom, but it’s a start.

 

I’m gonna read a book with pictures.

So, my parents left for Greenville, SC yesterday, which means I’m house sitting for the next 10 days. Last night was fairly uneventful, I’ve just been picking away at re-cataloguing my DVDs and Blu-Ray because my database didn’t carry over when I made the switch from PC to Mac. It’s one hell of a process, but I’ve found a very good program that is incredibly user friendly and suits all my needs and beyond.

 

It came time for supper and I wanted to treat myself, do something a bit fancier than usual. This is what I came up with:

One of the many joys of having IBS is that there are things you can’t eat and there is no rhyme or reason to it. I’m not gluten intolerant, I can eat bread just fine, but for one reason or another I can’t eat pasta. I can eat rice, but pasta is a no go. So I’ve come to love rice vermicelli and also this “pasta” which is made from peas and bean sprouts. When uncooked it is white but the noodles cook clear, which is odd when cooking the first time and are unaware.

The sauce is just Hunts mushroom and basil sauce that I put Daiya dairy free cheese in while cooking so it melted all throughout. The meat is extra lean ground chicken with onion, mushroom, and orange pepper and seasoned with cayenne and a chicken seasoning medley. I cooked the chicken on it’s own on low for about 15 minutes, then added the veggies and cooked it for another 15-20, all the juice mixed in the pan and infused the meat, it turned out excellent.

I had a lot leftover so I packed it all up, cleaned the kitchen and retired to the basement for the eve.

Today Sam wanted to know what was for lunch and I didn’t just want to plate the same thing over again, so I took some rice paper out of the cupboard, grabbed the leftovers and ended up with this

we put some of the cold noodles and chicken in the rice paper and then reheated the sauce. Rather than pour the sauce all over everything, we put it in a bowl and used it for dipping. The fact that everything in the rice paper was cold made all the flavours inside come out full force, and it contrasted nicely with the heat of the sauce.

all in all a fairly successful meal since it made two different dishes with enough left over to attempt a third this evening. =)

 

We’re going to make the best of this glorious summer day and go do a mini photo shoot with our newly acquired ShirtPunch shirts.

 

This is my cat in a bag

A father is someone who carries pictures where his money used to be.

I’m back! I didn’t forget about all you lovely faces I’ve yet to see, and some I have!

Father’s Day took roughly three days to plan, since Sam and I thought we’d be in Vegas. I must say, I’m honestly kind of glad it fell through because Father’s Day could not have gone any better. But I’m getting ahead of myself, Saturday came before Sunday, and that was a lot of fun too.

Our town has a Farmer’s Market, and I have a friend who plays music, when you add those together I had a friend who was going to be playing music at the town’s Farmer’s Market which meant I was going and so was Sam.

Patrick Thompson is a VERY good musician and one hell of a nice guy, I met him through a coffee house I hosted and he has been incredibly supportive and gung ho about the other events I’m working on within the town, which include a bi-weekly or monthly coffee house and a few top secret projects (deets to come). To the best of my knowledge he doesn’t have a music site, but this is his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/patrick.thompson.144 His CDs are $10 and while there may be only 5 songs I haven’t taken it out of the stereo and they are all originals.

We didn’t go to the market alone, oh no, we brought one of our nearest and dearest, Ms. Brittany Francis, or B-Fran as I like to call her. She is an absolute gem and a recent culinary arts grad. We picked her up around 10AM, drove back into town, stopped at the parkade and walked the rest of the way (lots of walking Saturday) Apart from Patrick’s CD, I didn’t spend too much money, I bought some AWESOME homemade granola bars and some really awesome mint lemonade, heavier on the mint than the lemonade as they grow their own.

A lot of networking was done for the aforementioned top secret events, and I will be teaming up with B-Fran for some culinary expressionism for one of them. =)

Speaking of culinary, while intimidated, I like cooking for B-Fran because she is always cooking and its nice to give her a break. When we got back to my house I made the Any Meal Cassurreal (what I’ve decided to call it from here on out) that I posted in a past entry

MEMORY JOGGERNAUT

I used Sourdough for the bread this time around and I feel that it worked much better. It was a huge hit, and she wanted the recipe. I, of course, directed her here.

For Mother’s Day, Sam and I cooked for my mom, her mom, Nancy (back up mom) and Sam’s grandmother and the men were sent to Sam’s to fend for themselves (they didn’t make food, just drank rum and coke). But we ended up making the dessert while they ate their main, which stressed us out a bit. We wanted to make the dessert beforehand this time, we also wanted to make “Manly Cupcakes” so Saturday night we made Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with a Rum Buttercream Icing for…

FATHER’S DAY!!!!

psssssst, the one with the tie

Pete, Sam’s dad

True to form, I’d yet to get a card for either my dad or Sam’s and the presents we had got for them were still in transit as we were late to order them online, best children ever, so we hit the ground running once we rolled out of bed. We decided we needed to get them something that we could give at dinner along with the cards we were going to get. We got all the gifts no problem, the dads loved them, but the cards were a bit more difficult. Having done the same thing on Mother’s Day you’d think I would have learned and planned ahead, but if you know me at all, you know that I would do no such thing. We went to the Mall, we thought we’d have to fight off hordes of people to get good cards, but the mall was fairly empty. I was surprised, we were the only two in the card store, I don’t know if people are just better prepared for Dad Day because Mother’s Day comes first, or if dads are just more lackadaisical about the whole ordeal so people don’t put forth as much effort.

Regardless.

Sam and I spent a good 30-45 minutes looking through all the cards to get the perfect ones for our dads and dads-to-be. On that note, there are no damn Father-In-Law cards! Trust me, we looked, not even any backers for where they would be! They have Daddy from Daughter, Daddy from Younger Daughter, I’m sure they probably have Daddy from child who just discovered they were their own father. But not one single frigging Father-In-Law card. That meant trying to find cards that were Father’s Day cards without saying “To My Father” which is no easy task. We finally found the right ones, and stocked up for Sam’s mom’s b-day and my Dad’s  (July 15th and 12th respectively). Oddly enough I ended up with a Dad thank You card for my dad, but it was perfectly written for the relationship we have so I couldn’t pass it up.

The card store’s debit machine was on the fritz so we were there for a good chunk of time talking to the lady behind the counter about the dinner we were making, the dessert we had made, and what we had done for Mother’s Day. After she suggested that we should open our own restaurant, do catering, or come to her house anytime we want to cook but aren’t hungry, the machine came back online and we paid. As we were leaving she said  “just remember, 221B Baker st” (not her real address), waved, and went about her business.

We came back to mine and got all the groceries ready to go to Sam’s and cook, the dads decided we should do a big family meal rather than just them and have the moms go do something else. We had made enough cupcakes so that I could take some to the meeting I couldn’t attend due to cooking, so Sam iced those whilst I got my soapy soap on, showered, so I was presentable for the upcoming event. We decided to take two cupcakes to Anne, the lady from the card store, since we knew her address and figured she’d appreciate it. As fate would have it, we had found her street two nights prior while out for our nightly stroll.

She was elated to receive them as she was obviously not expecting us to show up, cupcakes in hand.

Everyone at the meeting seemed to appreciate them as well and Jason went so far as to describe them as “individual servings of life-changing deliciousness.”

The recipe was also requested, so at the bottom of this entry I’ll post the recipe to both the chocolate Guinness Cupcakes and the Rum Buttercream icing.

Supper was a rather grand affair, Pete, Sam’s dad, had been requesting that Lisa make tacos for at least the past month, so that was of course what was on the menu. We used extra lean ground chicken as the meat, and opted for soft tacos rather than hard shelled. He was also very happy to find out that if he buys “healthy stuffs” she’ll make him tacos.

Given that both Lisa and I are lactose intolerant we had all the usual topping choices, lettuce, tomato, onion, salsa, cheese, sour cream, plus Daiya cheese, and lactose free sour cream.

My mother and I share the curse of IBS and she can’t eat tacos so we made miniature versions of what we made for Mother’s Day, which were essentially mini shepard’s pie in muffin tins.

*this is where the picture would go, but I don’t have one*

Don’t they look good!?

We also cooked up a crap load of asparagus as everyone in the family loves it.

They seem to love mine and my father’s cooking method which is very simple, but has excellent and consistent results.

spread asparagus on baking sheet.

drizzle with olive oil, making sure to cover the tips as they’ll provide the best crunch.

sprinke with cracked black pepper and sea salt.

cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

devour.

The night was topped off by three rounds of washer toss, which Sam and I lost to our dads, and everyone sitting around the fire talking until almost 11.

All in all a good night and a great day.

And the Icing

Word to the wise, keep the icing refrigerated until use, the rum will melt the icing when it’s at room temperature.

Enjoy and most importantly, don’t cupcake and drive.

You keep eating your hand and you’re not gonna be hungry for lunch… – John Bender

Today is the day I finally get caught up on The Voice AU. I’ve loved it since the beginning and while I love the American version, and the performers/coaches I must say I think, as a show/competition, I prefer the Australian as it seems a lot more raw.

That’s not to say I don’t still listen to Jamar, Lindsey, Juliet, Jamie, The Shields Brothers and the rest of the pack because I do, and have purchased all I could on Itunes. But I find, as with most Americanized competitions, it very quickly becomes a matter of who will get the highest ratings rather than who performs the best and I believe that Australia has got it figured out. As each round goes by, whether I like the decision or not, I know it’s the right move made by the coaches. There were countless decisions made on the US version, most of them “Xtina”‘s that made me question if I would tune in the following week.

If you get the chance, check out these amazing artists from both shows, because they will very quickly become your new faves

Now that I’ve lost some readers/insulted some people we’ll be moving right along.

When I bought my Panini Press a few years go, I found a way to use it for practically every meal and it lost some of the mystique that it held. As such, it became much less an appliance and much more a professional toe stubber.

Up until today I’ve been using it only as a glorified toaster for the past 12 months, today all that changed.

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I took all of this wonderful, some of it cooked, some raw and crunchy and turned it into this

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The Goods

1 tortilla

choice of spread

1-2 mushrooms, sliced

1 green onion, diced

deli meat of your choice and preferential amount, chopped

1 slice tomato, cubed

1-2 leaves of lettuce, chopped

1 slice cucumber, cubed

grated cheese

Put a little olive oil (butter if you prefer) in a pan on low to medium heat and toss in the mushroom.

Once the colour starts to change, throw in the green onion.

When it is almost cooked, add in the deli meat to brown it slightly and soak up the flavours.

cube and chop lettuce, tomato, and cucumber respectively

put spread of your choice of spread on tortilla.

add the ingredients from the pan to the tortilla, followed by the cold items and sprinkle cheese over top.

fold and grill, making sure to only grill until the marks are present otherwise your cold items lose their crunch.

Hopefully people are enjoying the recipes, as they are fairly low cost and can be done with a low skill set, something for everyone =)

If you keep reading them I’ll keep posting them.

About the biggest pair you ever seen, dingleberry! – Jay

Today has been spent waiting at outpatients, in the kitchen, and also putting up wall hangings. All in all it was rather eventful.

Made a great little casserole, just sort of appeared in my mind, I threw together the ingredients and tossed it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350.

Yes, it tasted just as good as it looks and only took roughly 10 minutes of prep. A great meal when you have things to do, but need to get breakfast/lunch/dinner on the table.

recipe can be made available for anyone who would like it.

*Edit*

since I’ve already been asked twice, here it is.

8×8 pan
1/4 orange pepper
2 green onions
chicken/pork/bacon/whatever (I used all natural hot dogs)
9 eggs
4 circles cut from your bread of choice
grated cheese
Dice the first 3 ingredients and place in the bottom of the pan.
Beat the eggs in a bowl.
cut 4 circles out of your choice of bread with a cookie cutter or rim of a glass.
dip the bread circles in the egg and set aside on wax paper.
pour eggs into the pan.
place bread circles in the four corners of pan.
cover bread with cheese.
sprinkle cheese over remainder as you see fit.
cook for 30 minutes at 350.

Thanks for reading, and carry on being awesome.