Considering I told everyone I would update with more fun stuff yesterday, I felt that today was a good day to do it. Not that I thought it would be a good laugh to get all your hopes up, but yesterday was my dad’s birthday and it was a jam packed day of running around and cooking.
In an effort not to forget things, I’m going to jump back to where my last post and move forward. That means you’ll have to read all about it before you find out the AWESOME gift I got for my dad. I mean, you could just scroll to the end, but then you’d be cheating yourself out of a good read now, wouldn’t you?
I had gotten up much earlier than my other cohorts, so I was chatting with Josh and Emily (@JoshLyonsPhotos & @Emily_Ellyn on Twitter) about food, and Josh’s band Fell on Deaf Ears (definitely suggest checking them out!)
Emily had posted a photo of some amazing cupcake on Facebook andwhen I shared it, Sara, my houseguest, commented that we should have cupcakes for breakfast, then she came upstairs. My brain immediately started working and within a few minutes I had a recipe MOSTLY figured out in my head. I told Sara that her wish was granted and we’d be making Breakfast Cupcakes.
The Good Stuff
- asparagus, cooked (follow recipe below)
- leftover Make Ahead Potato, or some sort of potato (hashbrowns, mashed, fried)
- 7-8 eggs depending on how many other ingredients make it into the muffin tins
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 coloured pepper
- 1-3 stalks of green onion
- Daiya dairy free cheese
- Sea Salt and Herbs
So, the asparagus (pronounced Ass-Par-Agus forevermore, due to Sam’s dad). I have a very simple method and it turns out consistently tasty. set the oven to 400, lay the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil being a bit more generous in coating the tip (adds awesome crunch) and sprinkle some sea salt and pepper. I prefer using a coarse grinder for both S & P as I find it kicks up the taste a bit. Then it’s just a simple 15 minutes in the oven and you are off to the races.
This is a fairly simple recipe and great for making while still half asleep or while the coffee you’re drinking works its way into your blood stream.
the onion and peppers get a quick fry in a pan with some olive oil. Leave the green onions aside as they have more flavour going in raw.
The potato goes into the muffin tin first, to cover maybe 1/4 of the tin. Once again, the Make Ahead potatoes from the previous post work splendidly as a base and depending on the size of the group you served with it initially.
cut the asparagus halfway up the stalk and stick it in the middle of the potato so the tip sticks out like a flagpole once everything is added into the tin. You may need to poke a hole in the potato and then fill it back in around the asparagus.
The eggs and fried veg mixture can be mixed together in a bowl and poured into the tins evenly. Then sprinkle the green onion and cheese over top of each one and it’s into the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.
it should end up looking something like this:
Sam missed out on the initial creation and consumption as she was working. Once we did the dishes, we took the leftovers to her, which means we each had three AND all the asparagus we had left over. good hearty breakfast.
The downside to missing a few days of blogging is the events in between photos becomes a bit blurry….OH! Nevermind, I remember.
I could delete the above sentence, but then you may feel less involved in the process, and we can’t have that.
Sara, B, and I decided to buy some outdoorsy stuff since we were already at Walmart (Sam works there). We got a football, dog frisbee (they were cheaper), and a bocce ball set. We spent the bulk of the day at the soccer field playing and getting burnt by the giant fiery orb in the sky, all in all a great afternoon.
We got back and it was back into the kitchen for me. Sara had never had poutine before so we had to rectify that. But, as usual, I couldn’t just make a normal poutine, I had to be difficult.
Back on the 30th I attended a Heritage Party that featured all things Canadian, including poutine. Being lactose intolerant, I made my own and enough for others to try, cooked it all, put it in a casserole dish, and covered it with foil. When we got there it was tossed in the fridge and then into the oven when we were ready to eat. What resulted was the recently dubbed Poutinserole.
I replicated it, and I think it’s a keeper.
The Inner Workings
- Daiya Dairy Free Cheese
- Sea Salt & Herbs
with a bit of olive oil in the pan, & the temp low-medium toss in your fries, and once they thaw, throw on the Sea Salt & Herbs. keep frying them until they get a bit crispy, or your desired fry texture. In a pot bring whatever gravy you’re using to temperature (I used a can of mushroom gravy, which was excellent). Combine the gravy and fries in a casserole dish and then mix in the cheese. Make sure everything is mixed well, then cover the dish with foil and, as per usual 350 for about 18-20 minutes. You’re not cooking anything, you’re basically making it more awesome.
I’m giving you fair warning, Poutinserole is not photogenic, but tastes excellent.
Baking allows it to be cut into squares and, if you wish, you can add some more gravy drizzled over top.
Given that we did a lot of running and jumping and such we were quite hungry and the Poutinserole takes some doing. As such I had an appetizer in mind that doesn’t take too long to throw together, but tastes like a lot of work went into it.
- Shrimp (cooked and deveined)
- Sea Salt & Herbs
- Garlic or Garlic powder (Not Garlic salt)
In a pan, toss in some olive oil on low-medium and once that heats up a bit toss in your shrimp, and once those get comfortable, hit them with a healthy dose of Sea Salt & Herbs, and keep them going on a low-medium temp.
While they’re in the pan, mix your margarine (or butter if you prefer) with either minced garlic or powder and melt it down, either in a small pot, or microwave (which we opted for). Once it’s liquid pour it over the shrimp and keep tossing it in the pan until they are completely coated.
Once they get a good coat of garlic butter, plate them and enjoy. Make sure you also have a little bowl of plate for the tails.
The reason for keeping it at a low temp is that these lovelies are already cooked and you are basically heating them up and locking in the flavours you have added.
This is where there I take a bit of a break from cooking as there wasn’t much time, we did a whole lot of running around those few days. Not only that but Sara made us an excellent breakfast one morning and gave me time to get some work done.
You’ll have to ask her what all went into it, but it tasted so friggin’ good!
What I do know is that the sourdough had some becel underneath a heaping spread of homemade strawberry freezer jam my mother had whipped up the day before.
Should last us a few days 😉
During the time away from the kitchen we went to Peggy’s Cove
I get my picture taken with this sign each and every time I go to Peggy’s Cove
spent another day at the field playing with our new toys, Sam was able to come this time.
(No pictures available)
Sam had to go to work, and we three that remained were way to hot to cook so we went to Waves. We ordered Sweet Potato Fries and Chipotle Mayo to start and I got the same thing I get every time. Chicken Clubhouse without cheese or bacon.
Waves has the best fries in town, and their sweet potato fries are no exception.
The following day the 4 of us were up early and off to Halifax, Sam and I played tour guide as we hit up the essential shops on Barrington. Renaissance (they sell Chucks), Rock Candy (Rock shop that I can never leave without buying something, Freak Lunchbox (candy store to end all candy stores), & Oddjects (wacky fun shop that can’t be explained unless you visit).
Dad’s birthday was yesterday and I KNEW I could find him something at Rock Candy. For a while, each gift giving event I would give him a Beatle’s CD, then I shot myself in the foot, gave him the gift of all gifts and presented him with the entire Beatles collection in stereo that they released a few years back. Ever since I try to find unique and inventive gifts, sometimes thinking very far outside of the box.
Normally any time you find something related to The Beatles and there are four of them, it’s very simply one for each member of the band. I found a set of four pint glasses with that exact motif, and it just didn’t do it for me. I thought it was too predictable and something I could have picked up anywhere with little to no effort and that, does not, a good gift make. One the other side of the store, under a Misfits alarm clock, I found THE gift. Again a set of four pint glasses, but instead of each being the face of one of the members, each was a different album cover. It was perfect, Beatles related, yet not something you could find anywhere, it was a treasure and would go splendidly with his Jimi Hendrix coffee mug.
I also got him a M*A*S*H 4077th keychain, because we used to watch it together all the time when I was growing up.
Next we went to Oddjects and I found this black and white polka dot cookie jar that stood on four legs with green and orange leggings and little black boots/shoes with a tag reading $15. I couldn’t see a matching lid anywhere and assumed that was why it was cheaper. Now, my mother has a rather odd cake plate that this would compliment, it was originally given to her as a gag gift and she uses it proudly. As such, I knew the cookie jar was perfect. When I took it to the counter the lady told me it had a lid, I told her I must have missed it. When she went and got it for me, I knew why I missed the lid… It doesn’t match at all, it’s like two different people made the two halves….it’s AWESOME.
Is this not the best cookie jar you have ever seen?!?!?!!
If you have a better one than this, please post a pic in the comments.
Dad loved the birthday gifts and mom loved the cookie jar and couldn’t stop laughing.
Yesterday was Dad’s birthday, we did it, we made it to yesterday!
We didn’t do much during the day, went downtown, talked to Marc, our tattoo artist. Sam, B, and I made an appointment for Monday (pics to come). Then we went to get donairs, Sam and I told B and Sara that they HAD to get a proper donair while they were here. In Vancouver we never could find one that tasted as good as they do here, with real donair sauce.
I can’t eat them anymore because of IBS and I’ve yet to try to make a Tony Friendly version, but I’m sure it will come.
When we got back from getting donairs I had to start making dinner. It can take a bit of time, but the result is well worth it.
I call them Loaded Chicken Burgers, and they are aptly named.
- chicken bacon, 7-8 strips diced
- 1 small onion
- 1 yellow pepper
- 3/4 a good sized harder apple (not a mac), cubed
- 3-4 stalks of green onion
- 2 lbs extra lean ground chicken
- Daiya dairy free cheese
- several splashes of italian dressing
- 2 eggs
- stove top stuffing
- Sea Salt & Herbs
- 5-6 mushrooms can also be added, we kept them out as Sara’s not a fan
You’ll need two pans for this one. Olive oil in both, low-medium temp, in one pan put the diced chicken bacon and cover the pan with foil. In the other add the onion, pepper, and apple (once again leaving out the green onion).
Stir both occasionally and cook them down. You’ll be able to tell that both are done when the bacon starts to crisp (chicken bacon is already cooked when you get it) and the apples will still have a bit of crunch to them. The reason for that is the stove top stuffing will steal some of the juice from the burger, and the apple gives it back as it cooks down inside.
Mix the bacon with the veggies and set aside to cool down. In a good sized bowl, add the chicken and green onion, then toss in your veggies and bacon. Get right in there and knead it with your hands, have to make sure its blended well. Afterwards, put the cheese in, followed by the stove top, mix thoroughly, then add the Italian dressing and one egg. Knead again and form a patty freehand. If it looks like it may fall apart as it cooks, add the other egg. Providing it looks solid, don’t bother with the second egg. Sprinkle on the cayenne and Sea Salt & Herbs liberally as it has to reach its way through all the meat.
If you have a burger press, then that’s great and if not, simply eyeball them to the size you’d like.
I have a press and this made 20 1/4 pound burgers.
Cooking method is up to you as well, it was a beautiful day so we BBQ’d. If the weather isn’t in your favor they fry up really well in a pan.
That’s it folks, we have reached the end. I hope you all enjoyed our trip through the past couple of days in the kitchen and beyond. Let me know how you like the recipes.
In closing, This is the Sea Salt & Herbs I keep talking about.