Archive | July, 2012

Tall ships and “wait….is that chuck hughes??”

25 Jul

Every few years the tall ships sail into Halifax’s harbour. Hubby, a couple good friends and I headed down to the very busy waterfront boardwalk to take a look. There were about eight or so scattered down the boardwalk. Very beautiful ships with a lot of amazing history. Do I have any history for you? Not so much…but I do know one of them was “The Bounty” made famous in the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty”.

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As we were wandering down the boardwalk we stumbled upon the Taste of Nova Scotia food tents and stage. Being big foodies, my friend and I dragged the hubbys in. At this point we were looking at the stage where a food demonstration is being held. My friend, H, grabs my arm and says “um is that chuck hughes??” We love him. We had no idea he was going to be here doing a little demo. We just stood there, mouths open and happy as can be. To make it even better he comes on down and gives autographs. I snuck in line pretty quick and we were second and third. He signed recipe sheets with his signature and a little drawing of a lobster. Awww..so east coast.
If you have no idea who I am talking about then check out Chucks day off on the Food network. He is based out of Montreal and is an amazing chef who even won when he was on Iron Chef!

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/ontv/shows/chucks-day-off/show.html?titleid=229156

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Lets talk sausages

19 Jul

On an effort to eat better in my household my hubby and I made homemade sausages yesterday. We love sausages but just can’t get past the fact that most store bought ones have so much fat and sodium. So we took things into our own hands! My hubby is a sweetheart and bought me the sausage grinder and maker attachment for my kitchen-aid mixer last year. We finally used it and it’s amazing. We skipped the step of actually grinding your own meat this time. In its place we used pre-ground lean turkey breast we bought from costco. We didn’t use any fatback in order to keep them super lean. All we wanted in these babies were pure turkey and spices. I encourage you all to try your own sausages at home. Cheaper and tastier. The bonus is you know exactly what’s in them. We made three different flavors. Hot & Spicy, Italian, and Cheddar. You can experiment on your own and find your flavors suited to you and your family. Next time I’m going to try Mexican or maybe an Indian version..or maybe a thanksgiving one with cranberries. So many options!

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Hot & Spicy Sausage

2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup minced garlic
6 tsp chili powder
4 tbsp paprika (we used smoked)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed chili
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 splash hot sauce
10 crushed up saltine crackers

mix all together and feed through sausage maker and your done!

*you will need to buy sausage casings (intestines) from your local butcher. we got ours for $25 for a frozen batch. We could make hundreds with what is in the package. keeps in a fridge for a long time.
*before you put the casings on the sausage maker make sure the attachment is well oiled with extra virgin olive oil. as well i like to wash out my casings before hand with water. just open one end and rinse through to the other end (you have to cut your casings as they come in long strips)
*if you have never made these on your mixer you tube has a lot of great informative videos. thats where i learned! good luck 🙂

summer nights

16 Jul

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Cardamom brown butter banana bread

5 Jul

That’s a mouthful of a title there! I’ve made banana bread many times with my moms no fail BEST banana bread recipe. So good….
But I’m trying to branch out on my own with recipes and flavors so I’ve come up with this little tasty bread. I’m working on my health so I’m slowly going to be working in healthier versions of my favorite baked goods. I feel this is a healthier version because I’ve used just egg whites instead of whole eggs,less sugar, and heart healthy margarine instead of butter. I miss butter already….
Anyways, the bread turned out good. Not as moist and buttery as my moms version. Nothing a little jam and butter (or margarine!) smeared on top can’t fix!

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Cardamom brown butter banana bread

2 cups flour
3 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups smashed bananas (about 3-4)
6 tbsp egg whites (same as 2 eggs)
1/2 cup browned butter (I used margarine) let cool
5-6 cardamom pods opened and seeds crushed into a powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a mixer blend flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl mix the smashed bananas, egg whites, brown sugar, cardamom, and cooled brown butter. Mix until incorporated.
Start the mixer on low and slowly pour in wet mix until all blended together.
Pour mix into a parchment covered bread pan. Shake around a little until even in pan.
Bake in oven for about 20 mins until browned on top and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve sliced with butter, jam or even almond butter! Yum!

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Garden tour

3 Jul

Happy Tuesday folks! My little garden is starting to bloom now so I thought you might like to take a little “tour” with me!

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Mohawk peppers and Roma tomatoes

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Jalapeños, cucumbers, pattypan squash, lemon thyme and sage

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This is my little plot I’ve been working on in the backyard. I have beets, Brussell sprouts, pumpkin, heirloom yellow and red tomatoes, strawberries and more squash.

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Herbs are growing like crazy in the heat so I harvested some to dry. Lemon thyme, sage, and Greek oregano.

Even if you have a little space I encourage you to grow something. It’s very satisfying to watch a plant produce beautiful fruits and vegetables you can eat warm off the vine. You could start with herbs. They are fast growing and are easy to add to any of your favorite dishes.

Canada day weekend

2 Jul

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It was a hot weekend here on the east coast. Sophie decided sleeping in her dirt hole was the way to go.

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Iced coffee was a good choice.

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I turned a year older!

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The storm clouds rolled in with thunder and lightning.

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I made a quiet birthday dinner for myself of spring rolls and peanut sauce. It was lovely!