Canada Day Long Weekend

Scott and I were lucky enough to spend Canada Day long-weekend in Kelowna. We had a blast!

Our good friends Sarah and Ryan have a gorgeous house there and they welcomed us to stay with them for the weekend. We had lots of pool time, tons of wine and non-stop fun.

We visited a few vineyards and stocked up on some good Canadian wines.

Our first night in town S&R had some other friends over for dinner. We had fun doing a blind tasting of four different wines. We had similar varietals from Napa, Canada, Italy and France. We had to guess where each wine was from and then say what our favourite wine was.

There was a lot of this!

Ryan won the completion by getting all four wines correct. Scott was awesome. As the least inexperienced wine drinker he got 2 of the 4 correct. He tied with me!

The best/biggest surprise of the night was that the favourite wine of the night was the Canadian!!

The wine was a Meritage from Le Vieux Pin. Go Canada!

Winner Winner

Sarah made an amazing dinner with Grilled chicken, Rice pilaf and stuffed zucchini. It was so yummy! I’m going to have to get the recipes from her.

The next night I was in charge of dinner. We had rib-eyes with caramelized onions, Mederia mushrooms, buttered faro and grilled peppers. Another tasty dinner!

We only took pictures of mushrooms.

Our final night we went to a place called Ricardo’s it was a great restaurant with delicious food, good cocktails, good wine list and a great atmosphere.

The Boys

The Boys at dinner.

The girls

We hit up some wineries as well:

Cedar Creek. Go there. Buy the “M”. Don’t ask questions, just thank me later. The “M” is their mediera, you can only get it at the winery and it is amazing! The best after dinner drink ever. We also had a nice glass of pinot noir and a snack on their patio.

Scott and I went to Quail’s Gate for lunch. Sat on the patio, had some Chardonnay and loved every second of it. The food was great- go there as well.

S&A at Quail's Gate

We hit up Mission Hill, walked the grounds for a bit, went to the tasting room and it was busier that Cowboys during Stampede. We left and checked out a new place. St. Hubertus. Very tasty, their whites are a bit on the sweeter side, but perfect for a hot summer’s day.

Rio went to BowDog for the weekend and did great!

Post Bow Dog nap

Posted in Restaurants and Events, Wine | 1 Comment

Grilled Bread with Prosciutto

This is a very simple recipe that is delicious. Ina put this recipe in her cocktail section of her latest book and I think this could be more than an appie. I served it for dinner with a salad and it was pelnty of food.

Be sure to use good ingredients becuase there are only a few in this recipe.

Ingredients:
6 slices good Tuscan round bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick1 large garlic clove, cut in half
Good Olive Oil
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn in pieces
2 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella, grated 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions:
Prepare a charcoal grill with medium-hot coals or turn a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Grill the bread for 2 minutes until golden on one side
Place the bread grilled side up on a platter and immediately rub the cut side of the garlic clove over the surface of the bread. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each slice of bread.

Place the torn prosciutto over the grilled side of the bread and top with the grated fresh mozarella. Return the bread to the hot grill, cover the grill, and cook for 1-2 minutes — just long enough to melt the cheese and rewarm the toast. Be sure the vent is open so the fire doesn’t go out. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper, serve hot.

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Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

This is yet another winner from The Barefoot Contessa. This recipe takes a classic dish and turns up the volume to make it amazing. This recipe is so good – a show stopper, yet it is very easy to make. This is a must repeat!

Ingredients

  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Directions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

 

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

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Progress

I’m  linking in with Jillian’s blog for this post because she took the words out of my mouth, made them sound really good then posted them on her blog.

Rio at Bow Dog

Rio was five months when we got her and we quickly learned that we had some issues to work through, the issues were with other dogs.

We’ve slowly given her freedoms when we thought she was ready for it and things have worked out.

One of the biggest issues Rio has is with other dogs indoors –  we really wanted to get her into day care, but we were concerned as to how she would be locked up all day in a little room with 20 other dogs.

When I dropped off Rio to daycare yesterday morning there was no concern, just pride, like a mom sending her child to the first day of school.

According to staff Rio was Awesome – obviously. They said they didn’t have any incidences with her, I’m guessing there was a bit of humping, but I’ll take the perfect report.

 

I am very happy with Bow Dog, they have a huge indoor play area and they separate the dogs into different groups based on size and temperament. They have an even bigger outdoor play area and the staff really care. We will be going back to Bow Dog again and regularly.

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Proud Mama

Time to brag. Being the proud mama I am I need to tell you about how amazing Rio was the other day.

Awesome Puppy thing #1: She only had one little freakout at puppy class. It was a reaction and she calmed down quickly. This is a huge accomplishment for her.

Awesome Puppy thing #2: I went out to get groceries and I didn’t put her in her kennel when I was gone. Perfect behavour. She didn’t eat the cat and all shoe were let untouched.

Awesome puppy thing #3: She made a new BFF. Rio can have some issues with other dogs inside. She was so good with her friend Sally and they didn’t have any problems. They played, chewed on bones and Rio gave Sally some pretty solid humps. Yep, as of Saturday Rio has taken to humping other dogs.

Rio is going to day care for the first time on Tuesday. I’m so excited to see how she does! I bet she’ll make tons of other friends!

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Full Disclosure

Scott was away this last weekend and things defenitly change when he is gone. Actually not that much changes except my eating habits. They change a lot.

I’m taking the path of full disclosure here. My blog is mostly cooking and I only post the good stuff. You don’t see much hamburger helper on here.

My bachelorette food.

The number one food I go to when Scott is gone is Hungry Man’s. Fried Chicken Hungry Man’s. (It’s the only good one.) I love Hungry Man, I have for years, for as long as I can remember. My parents never bought them for me, so I don’t even know what got me on to that. That’s not the point – the point is I love Hungry Mans. I said it, its out there. Now, The Fried Chicken Hungry Man , is almost perfect, it just needs a couple of adjustments. A bit more salt and butter and it becomes perfection.

PS I have never looked at the nutritional information and I never plan to. Ever. Why ruin such a good thing?

Full Full disclosure. I also like those frozen Chicken Cordon Blues when Scott is gone. Again they need some adjusting. Near the end of the baking time I top it with more cheese. Usually parm, but any cheese would do.

I know it is a little trashy. What are your bachelorette foods?

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Lemon Shrimp Pasta

My awesome friend Jillian was kind enough to let me invite myself over to her house on Saturday night so that I didn’t lose my mind being alone at home. Scott was in Vegas this weekend, so being home alone on a Saturday night is lame and boring.

I decided a nice lite pasta would be great for the evening, so I mixed a couple of Giada’s recipes together to make a nice tasty meal. It was a delicious pasta that was super easy to make and was rather inexpensive as well.

Ingredients

For the lemon oil:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon, zested

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 16 ounces frozen shrimp
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

For the lemon oil:

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, chili flakes and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and let reduce to about half. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

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Perfect

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Cucumber Salad

This salad reminds me of my childhood. A favourite salad that my mom would prepare was very similar to this. Her version was cucumbers mixed with cream, vinegar and S&P. It was good! This is too. It is easy to prepare and a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl.

When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled.

Note: I did not use all the dressing – it would’ve been way too much for the amount of veggies I had.

*Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa

 

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Thomas Keller’s Coleslaw

This man can do no wrong.

The coleslaw was great – a little spicy from the mustard but not overpowering. It is a must repeat!

 

Coleslaw

Make about 9 cups  

To make the dressing, combine:

 

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar

Whisk to blend. Refrigerate until ready to use, or store up to 3 days.

 

For the coleslaw, prepare:

 

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups 1/16 inch wide strips sliced purple cabbage
  • 4 cups 1/16 inch wide strips sliced green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To easily slice the cabbage in a food processor, use the slicing disk, rather than the grating disk. Core the cabbage and cut it into wedges. Place the wedges horizontally in the feed tube of the food processor and slice. This produces long, thin strips that seem heartier than finely grated cabbage. (However, it seems to work better to grate the carrot with the grating disk, as the sliced carrot will be too thick.) The vegetables can be grated a day ahead and refrigerated.

 

When you’re ready to serve, toss the cabbage and carrot together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Dress the coleslaw right before serving to prevent the purple cabbage from bleeding.  Season to taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

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