Monday, November 7, 2016

England

No new spices or exotic ingredients here. We tried our hand at cooking things we thought might be challenging, like authentic fish and chips and things we'd heard of but had never tasted before, like Spotted Dick. Lynn had to do the Spotted Dick twice because it didn't turn out the first time. I am trying to find pictures of the "fail".

Update: Apparently we needed a plum pudding pan, which my sister recently bought for Christmas dinner. She's going to try again using that.

Spotted Dick


Homemade Chips

The homemade fish chips were fantastic! We have done some deep frying for our feast before, but this time we had an actual deep fryer and it made all the difference. They were restaurant quality and we kept talking about how we were definitely going to make them again. Not that we want to get in the habit of weekly deep fried meals, but it might be fun for a Friday night treat instead of going out to eat.
Scotch Eggs 
The Scotch eggs were my daughter's favourite. It was actually really funny. She ate more of them than anyone, and she's having one for supper again tonight. She will try anything, but getting her to eat a lot of something is pretty difficult. Not the easiest things to make for a weeknight supper, and they had to be deep fried as well, but I'm wondering if there might be a simpler version?



Steak and Oyster Pie


I really enjoyed the Steak and Oyster pie. The oysters had a stronger flavour than I thought they would. If you don't love oysters, this isn't the pie for you and I would suggest the steak and ale version instead, but we really enjoyed it and there was only a tiny piece leftover which I just finished off for an afternoon snack.
Saxon Cheddar
And, as I always try to do, I managed to find something I needed for 50 percent off at the Superstore. This was a fantastic English Saxon cheddar that was perfect in the cauliflower cheese.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Vietnam

Shopping: Atlantic Superstore, Tian Phat
Watching: Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown: Hanoi"
Kid's Craft: Paper Orchids

Shopping today took us to the Superstore, where I scored some 50% off ingredients. One of the bonuses of cooking food from around the world is that your dinner repertoire expands so much. You can really take advantage of so many different exotic ingredients. Since moving back to Nova Scotia from New York, I have shifted from cooking whatever pops into my head, to what happens to be on sale or in season. I think I save A LOT of money on groceries with this approach. 

Our second stop today was at Tian Phat, a local Asian grocery on the Bedford highway. It is a wonderful store filled with everything you could need for any Asian recipe. 


Tian Phat
Tian Phat's Fresh Produce
Shopping at the local Asian grocery store is such a fun experience for the kids. New ingredients, and lots of different things to look at. They picked out some Vietnamese candies and helped fill our baskets. 


Superstore Sales!




Bite Sized Banh Mi


Homemade Paper Orchids

 This morning the kids and I made paper orchids. We basically followed THIS tutorial, except I changed it around a tiny bit and used tissue paper mod podged to bristol board instead of the suggested marker.
Lynn's Amazing Dessert

Monday, October 17, 2016

Next Week - Vietnam!




In case anyone wanted to join in and do this following our selections, next week is Vietnam. Angela has decided she wants to try her hand at Bahn Mi, and I'm going to try Pho. I LOVE Vietnamese food and there are tons of things I want to try to make, so I may change my mind yet. Lynn hasn't weighed in yet, but she likes to choose a dessert.

Peru!


Tonight was delicious, light, and fresh. I made Beef Heart Anticucho, with this recipe, Angela made Pollo a la Brassa, and Lynn made Causa. I have to say, the beef heart tasted very much like any other cut of steak, except maybe it was a bit richer in taste? It is also so very inexpensive. I think it would be a great cut of meat for anyone on a budget. I would definitely sneak it into a nice stew and maybe not share that it was beef heart with the family. Ha! 

Angela's chicken had a really nice texture and flavour. I liked the thighs as opposed to the chicken breast, but I generally think they are a tastier piece of meat. 

Finally, Lynn's causa! What a fantastic tower of chicken salad and mashed potatoes! We used a hamburger press to make them. I wish I had a picture or a video of it, but essentially, we spread some potato in the mould, then chicken salad, then avocado, then more potato. I drizzled some President's Choice habanero-aioli over the top. I think a large cookie cutter might work and it was suggested in more than one recipe, but ti would have to be a very tall, very large cookie cutter. 



Lynn had these plates in the cupboard which I love! They are Villeroy and Boch "Acapulco" and were my great aunt's. So beautiful and I thought they were perfect for Peru. We also like to put something on tv to watch while we are cooking, and there was a great episode of one of Anthony Bourdain's shows on YouTube where he traveled to Peru. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cape Breton



We haven't picked our next country out of the hat yet, and since it's mid summer we are all over the place. We are all going to meet up in Cape Breton for the long weekend, so we have decided to try to have a feast based on local ingredients. Not sure of the recipes will also be traditional, but we're excited about searching out fresh seasonal produce. Checking out some classic cookbooks...

Greece

This night was a big hit. Spanakopita, Moussaka, Souvlaki, Greek salad. Everything came out so well. All of our recipes were found online. 















China

An epic fail? We are all blaming Szechuan peppercorns! At least we had a few good laughs about them.








Lebanon

This week's country was Lebanon. We explored a few markets around Halifax, and sampled some food at Middle East Food Centre on Agricola Street. We also checked out the newer shop on the Bedford Highway.

https://www.facebook.com/MidEast-Food-Centre-141128005929404/?fref=ts