Archive | August, 2012

Where I feel at peace

28 Aug

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Rice Ball Romance

15 Aug

When I met my husband for our first date we went to a little restaurant in Victoria called “Johns place”. I had been there many times before but I thought it would be a great place to go with him. It was a casual place with an amazing menu for a great price. We settled into our booth and talked for a while and I ordered the rice balls as an appetizer. Little bites of heaven with a sweet chili dipping sauce. I think my husband loved them right away. It’s a food memory that we talk about still. Maybe we started to fall in love over the rice balls…maybe it was our song on the jukebox…who knows but that was about four years ago and we just celebrated our first year wedding anniversary recently.
I’ve always wanted to try to make these little bites of goodness. There are recipes all over the internet but I suppose I got lazy. While in Costco I picked up a new cookbook. Yes I needed another one. It is called “Italy, a journey for food lovers.” It is a comprehensive book with lots of pictures. Perfect. While flipping through I saw the rice ball recipe and decided that I would be a good little wife and make these asap. These take a couple days to make only because you have to let the risotto sit and cool overnight in the fridge.
The traditional name for these rice balls are “Suppli al Telephono” which means in a few words that when you bite into them the cheese pulls out to resemble strands of telephone wires. Try these one day. They are pretty easy and would be a hit as an appetizer or maybe a starter for a nice romantic meal with your loved one.

Suppli

3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock (i just used one container)
2 cups risotto rice (arborio. this is a must! you can’t substitute)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
9 basil leaves torn in half (i opted out cause hubby doesn’t like)
18 small cubes of good quality mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
oil for deep frying (i used grapeseed. You want a high smoke point oil so it doesn’t burn)

Melt your butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over low temp until onion is soft but not browned. In another pot heat up the chicken stock.

Add the rice to the onion and butter mix and make sure you coat all the grains of rice. Time to make risotto. It’s not as hard as you think. Just time consuming. Add several ladles of the stock so it’s just covering the rice. Keep stirring every couple minutes to make sure the rice cooks evenly. Keep doing this process of covering the rice with stock and stirring for about 20 mins or so or until the rice is creamy on the outside and al dente. Your done! Not so hard was it?

Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mix onto a large baking tray covered in parchment paper. Let cool for a bit then store in fridge over night.

Divide the rice into 18 portions. Take one portion and shape into a ball then place a cube of mozzarella cheese and basil in the centre. Fold the rice over to encase the cheese in the centre. Continue on with this until all balls are made. Once done roll the balls in the breadcrumb mix and place on a baking tray.

Now here you can do one of two things. Use a deep fat fryer or use a small amount of oil in a deep saucepan. I don’t have a fryer so I used my trusty old Le Cruset pot with about an inch or so of grapeseed oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F or until a piece of bread fries golden brown in 15 seconds when dropped in the oil. Fry the suppli in batches until evenly golden brown, flipping them over a few times. Drain on paper towels to get that excess oil off.

You can serve while hot with a big bowl of homemade tomato sauce or sweet chili sauce. Enjoy.

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Summer day trips

13 Aug

We had a friend come in from out of town this past week. It was his first time to Halifax so we took him to the first place one takes a tourist, Peggy’s Cove. This place is crawling with tourists and tour buses all summer long but it’s still one of the most picturesque places in the province. If you are in the province take a drive out there. It’s not far from the city. Pack a picnic, sit on the warm rocks and let the sounds of the ocean relax you for a few hours.

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Talented friends I am lucky to know!

3 Aug

I want to do a little profile on some lovely ladies that I am so very lucky to know. These women are independent crafters, bakers, cooks and all around awesome ladies! I encourage you to check out their links and like them on facebook. Also spread the word and get these ladies the recognition they deserve for all their hard work. I am inspired by them daily and hope that a little of their talent rubs off on me.

Leanna:

I have known Leanna for years now. We took the same vet office assistant course in Vancouver and became fast friends. I always loved seeing what amazing handmade jewelry she would wear to class. She is located back in my home of British Columbia. She can pretty much make anything but her focus for a while was on handmade dolls. As she says they are “Eclectically fun & earth friendly handmade dolls.” She now has an etsy site devoted to her handmade bracelets, ties, and necklaces made out of fabric. All of her work is stunning and affordable. Check out her sites:

pootandboogie.blogspot.com

You can also go to Etsy.com and enter her shop name: Hello Fletcher

Harp:

I met Harp almost a year ago. Both of our husbands work together in the Navy on the same ship. We only recently started to really hang out together as I was in quebec for 4 months this year. Let me just say I love this girl. We are so alike it’s freaky. She has a couple blogs mostly focused on food. Recently she started up Tamarind which is authentic Indian food to order. Everything she makes is from scratch. Her samosas are insanely addictive. Harp has the focus and drive to make her a success. She already has her samosas in a local coffee shop in Halifax. If you are in the area go there now and buy a few and you’ll be hooked!

frenchpressing.wordpress.com
tamarindauthentic.wordpress.com

This is the facebook page to 99ONE where you can get amazing coffee, her samosas, and support the local community.

facebook.com/99ONE

Sandra and Jade:

I just met these two lovely ladies through Harp. They are fellow “military wives” who have taken what they love and made a business out of it.
Sandra is a baker and an amazing one at that. Everytime I see her she brings a new treat for us and it’s always tasty.

littlebitlittlebite.blogspot.com

Also you can find her on facebook under Sweets 2 Go

Jade is also ridiculously talented. She can make quilts and knit like crazy. Everytime I see her she is busy working on a knitted piece. I don’t know where she finds the time to make all of her beautiful pieces. I know that as soon as I have a little one she is the first to call for some baby supplies!
She also makes leather jewelry.

facebook.com/HandmadeByJadeJ

Please check out all of the links and support local work.

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