Sunday, 19 February 2017

Queen of Hearts

Hubby and I went to a Valentine's Day dinner party last week, at Pam and Fraser's.  
I knew Pam well growing up, and we went to high school together.  
She has been living here in the city for many years and had invited us over on 
number of  occasions, but this was actually the first time we were able to make it.   
Wow---what a treat!!

The evening was just lovely.  It was on Wednesday night, and we were in the 
heights of a blizzard most of the day.  
Valentine's Day was day one of a two-day blizzard, with record breaking
snowfall and high winds.   The entire city actually shut down for two whole days.  
I must say, I did thoroughly enjoy the two extra days off.  
We were literally housebound for the full two days, which made dinner at 
Pam and Fraser's even sweeter.

The welcome was warm, atmosphere and company was awesome, and the food......

Pam and Fraser were fabulous hosts, and the night flew by.  It was almost eleven 
when we left to come home.  
For anyone who knows me well, that is late for me on a work night.   

As soon as we arrived, we were all served a beverage of choice.  
Fraser has an enviable stock of local and imported beers that he is very eager to share. 
 Fraser popped the cork on a lovely bottle of champagne, and Pam surprised us with two delectable amuse-bouches before we all moved to the dining room for our meal.  
I did not get pictures of those, but they were certainly photo-worthy.  
After we ate the delectable little treasures, I commented that I should have brought 
my camera to get some photos for a blog post, and Pam said she 
wouldn't mind, so I whipped out my phone and started snapping--tehe!!  

Below are photos of the meal as it progressed.  The photos certainly show her 
attention to detail and it is quite evident that Pam loves to cook and entertain.

First, we had a selection of roasted beets--red beets carved like roses, and thinly sliced 
yellow beets shaped like hearts, with a variety cheeses spread between them. 
Also on this plate, fresh mozzarella, balsamic pearls, and some fresh peas and cucumber.......... 

Pam even had fresh butter cut in the shape of little hearts to accompany the wonderful 
fresh bread she had baked .......
Next.....homemade pasta, stuffed with crab and lobster, with a scrumptious cream sauce......

Just had to put this photo on, to show the perfect little heart-shape.
It tasted just as good as it looks....

Ooooohhhhhh---the main course.  Lobster and cheeses baked in the body, string beans, 
carrots and couscous with locally picked chanterelles.  
Pam and Fraser picked these chanterelles last fall.  believe it or not, I had never tasted 
them before---delicious!!

The entire meal was a fabulous experience for the soul and the taste-buds!  
And of course, dessert was no different.
Homemade chocolate cake, cut in the shape of a heart and dipped in chocolate ganache, on 
a drizzle of homemade raspberry syrup with fresh whipped cream.  
Yum in my tum !!!  
We all enjoyed dessert with fresh coffee, and then moved back in to
the living room to find this!!!!!!

A variety of delectable handmade chocolates, along with chocolate-dipped 
fresh strawberries, to enjoy with an after dinner liqueur.   

It didn't end there!
Each couple went home with a box of chocolate dipped strawberries, a
miniature dessert cake,,,,and a loaf of fresh homemade bread!!!!

To close, I'll borrow the song title from the Four Seasons....
Oh, what a night!!!!

Stay tuned, I'll post a synopsis of my dinner party in about a month or
so---planning it to take place around St. Patrick's Day.


Monday, 6 February 2017

Lassy Buns

Since we have become grandparents, we are a tad bit preoccupied.  
Actually we are obsessed with her!!!!  

I have been neglecting my other loves (that pale in comparison now), but I did
take time over the weekend to make a batch of molasses (lassy) buns and I 
took a few snaps to share----just like old times.  

I posted this recipe on this blog about four years, and I received great feedback.  
Click here for the recipe.
 Here are some photos of my latest "batch"........

The smell of that butter and molasses melting together, with the strong hint of 
cinnamon and cloves is simply divine.  

Sprinkled with a little pinch of sugar and ready to go in the oven.... 

 These scent the entire house while baking.


Of course, as soon as they cool, one must try one with a bit of cheddar, and a cup of strong black tea.

 Oh yeah!!!


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Scallops & Snow Storms

Well, we didn't have any big plans for this past weekend, mainly because we had a 
forecast for a blizzard, beginning late Friday evening lasting in to late Saturday night.  
Forecast was pretty accurate, right down to timing.

Anyhow....what does one do on Friday night, when expecting a big storm to last 24 
hours or longer??  Get into the deep freeze and start pulling forgotten treasures out, to
 have a cooking-fest on Saturday!!

We pulled out salt fish for a big batch of homemade fish cakes; 
a roast of beef to make a soup; some ground turkey for a meat "turkey-loaf----ha ha, just 
doesn't sound the same!!  
Then last,but not least a bag of scallops (just caught about a month ago).  

All jokes aside, I love days like this.  Plus, it's a nice feeling when you are loading casseroles and tightly wrapped treasures in to the fridge, all great food for the upcoming week.  
It takes away the dreaded question, during the work week, of what will 
have tomorrow for supper, but gives you lots of time to have nice brisk walk before supper!!

While we were sitting around enjoying a cozy big fire, keeping up with updates of the storm and listening to music, hubby couldn't resist frying some scallops in fresh butter and minced garlic!

Yummmmmy....they tasted delicious!!

There wasn't a lot of guilt about eating these, we knew we had a bit of activity and 
fresh air the next morning to deal with this......

The snowblower makes the chore much easier, and it was a gorgeous morning to be outside.  
About minus 4 Celsius, sunshine and hardly any wind.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

I was browsing through my mom`s old cookbooks for a nice breakfast-type muffin.  After all the chocolate and super rich foods over the holidays, I wanted something a little less ``sweet and chocolatey``.  I came across this recipe and thought I`d try it.

Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Yields: 12
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup soured milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
Stir the oats and the soured milk together in a bowl, making sure all the oats are covered. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, until well soaked.   
Add oil and egg and combine until well blended.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, mixing well, then add to oats mixture, 
mixing well until no dry flour visible. 
Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups - then bake for 20 – 25 minutes 
until the muffins have browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Turn out onto a rack to cool. 

NOTE**** To sour milk, add 1tablespoon of vinegar or lemon to 1 cup milk


Here are the snaps....


I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the amount of rise, and I was afraid of that when I saw the amount of baking powder called for.   I thought the half teaspoon of soda would make up for it, but I was wrong.   However, they were absolutely delicious and I will make them again, but I will use a little more baking powder next time.


Monday, 9 January 2017

Monday Night Meatloaf Marathon

As a full time worker, I am all about easy prepare-ahead meals.  I make this meatloaf 
recipe 4 or 5 times a year.  It is really delicious and moist because it 
has grated carrots, celery and cheese.

 Tonight I baked the recipe in a muffin tin.  


I did this once before and served them with a scoop of mashed potato on top--really cute, 
looked like frosted cupcakes!! 

I originally posted this recipe for meatloaf back in April of 2012, when I first  started 
blogging with an Alphabet challenge for the month of April. 
Click here for that link, if you want to try this recipe. 

This meatloaf recipe is delicious hot or cold.  When I bake it as a large loaf, I slice the 
cold leftovers for sandwiches as well.   

We`ll re-heat some of these for supper tomorrow night with baked potatoes and 
steamed broccoli, and will surely enjoy the remainder for lunches throughout the week.  
These actually freeze well too.

Well, you know, we had to taste test at least one.  Yummy!!