Pizza burrito 6 2014

A Hawaiian Twist For A Fun Dinner

We woke up to snow this morning.  Typical.  I was so hoping that the warmer days would have continued this week so I could get out in the garden and start getting veg in.  I’m getting a bit antsy to be outside!

Even though it was the last bit of tax season and all the craziness that goes along with it I was able to get some cooking done this past weekend.   I found a pin for a fun sandwich to make though unfortunately no recipe was attached so I just used it as an inspiration.   Our son calls this a pizzarito.  It’s a hawaiian themed pizza burrito.  So easy to make and the kids love it.

This is also great for when you don’t have a ton of time for dinner.  The longest bit is getting the chicken grilled.  Marinate thin bits of chicken breast in the BBQ sauce of your choice.

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Slice up some red onion and pineapple.  For those that love jalepenos slice up a few as well.  It adds a nice bite.

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Lay out a wrap and spoon the BBQ sauce and spread it out.   We used a somewhat sweet sauce but I’d recommend something on the spicy side to balance the sweetness of the pineapple.   Layer the sliced grilled chicken with the onion, pineapple, and cheese.  Then layer ham over the top.

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Wrap tightly then heat up using a panini press or on the stove top like a grilled cheese.

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Cut in half and serve immediately.

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It was delicious and perfect for a fun dinner with the kids.

And now that tax season is over I get to finally start catching up with all the posts!  I’ve missed reading them all.  :)

Jambalaya 5 2013

Jambalaya – The Cure for Odds and Sods

I usually try to be very good with using the ingredients on hand in an efficient way.  Pick a protein and do a few meals with it, that sort of thing.  Once in awhile we go overboard with different things to eat and suddenly I’m faced with several things that need to be used up if we don’t want it all to go to waste.  This week I opened the fridge to be faced with a chicken breast, some kielbasa, and rabbit sausage.  What to do, what to do.

I’ve never been to New Orleans but I love the food and music.  There is a sense that corsets were never as tight as they were up here.  There is a great spirit to the food and music.  It’s on my bucket list to swing by.  :)  I do love a good jambalaya and thought it would be perfect to use up the different proteins in one dish.  It is also a very easy dish to throw together on a week night when there are sports and school meetings.

Our pepper plants are still going strong so I grabbed a few hot peppers to use.

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I chopped up half an onion, several cloves of garlic, the peppers, and the meat.   In a skillet with hot olive oil I sauteed the onions and garlic for a few minutes then added the peppers and the meat.

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While this was cooking I sliced several tomatoes from our garden that are in the good cooking stage.  In other words, not good and firm for salads but perfect for stewing.  Again, didn’t want them to go to waste!

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I added about a cup of chicken stock and brought it to a simmer.  Then I added a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, some oregano, and a cajun seasoning mix.  Stir and simmer.

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I cooked some mushroom and herb rice pilaf almost to being done and then added it to the jambalaya to absorb the flavours and finish cooking.  Then it is ready to serve.

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The flavours were hearty but not heavy on the stomach which was good as my son had to dash off for an evening of running round.  :)

grandma ice cream 1 2013

Pure Joy

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best source of joy.  Take ice cream for instance.  It would be a very rare thing that it would bring a frown to someone’s face.

I have good memories of my Grandma, she was a neat lady and I would have loved to know her more but she passed away a few years after we moved over here.  I’ll have to do a proper post as she was quite the lady.  But as summer is coming to a close and ice cream shops are closing for the season I am reminded how ice cream can make you smile.

This is a photo of her getting her first ice cream sundae stateside.

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She loved it!  :)

Chicken jhalfrazi 11 2013

Chicken Jhalfrazi? Yes Please!

I enjoy a good curry and I love the seemingly infinite amount of variations you can find.  I mentioned yesterday in my Naan post that my husband made a wonderful curry.  I think it is by far my favourite to date.  It is Chicken Jhalfrazi from the “Best Ever Curry Cookbook” and it is quick and easy with amazing flavours.

We followed the recipe the best we could but didn’t have all the ingredients the way they called it out so we adapted it a bit.  And we adjusted the portions to only feed the four of us, not an army.  :)

Chop a green bell pepper and a red bell pepper finely.

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Chop up some fresh ginger, onion, and garlic.

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The recipe calls for 1 1/2lbs of chicken breast to serve 4!  We used about 1/2 lb.  This was cut into small cubes.

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Heat up an iron cast wok with some olive oil.

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Once the oil is heated add in the veg and stir.  Then add 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste depending on your taste.  The recipe calls for 1 tsp of cumin seeds and 1 tsp of ground cumin.  We didn’t have the seeds so we upped the ground cumin a bit.  Next add 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir well then add the chicken.

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We didn’t have 14oz of canned tomatoes but we are surrounded by fresh tomatoes so we chopped up a bunch of fresh tomatoes and added it to the wok.  Stir and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

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To serve chop up fresh cilantro and mix into the dish saving some to garnish on top.  You can also add a bit of hot peppers as a garnish like my husband did.

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It was so good!  I’ve already asked him to make it again.  :)

Where to go next 1 2013

Now where do I go?

Where to go next 1 2013

It’s been a year of blogging now and I’m am trying to figure out my next steps.  I was hoping I could ask my fellow bloggers for advice on what worked and what should be avoided.

Basically I would love to grow the blog where I could contribute income to our household.  What I don’t want to do is make it this crazy commercial enterprise.  I really enjoy the the community I find myself in.  I love getting to know people and hearing how they are doing.  I do not want to lose that.  I don’t like the blogs that lack warmth and personality.  I feel there isn’t any point when it gets like that.

So I feel like I’m at a crossroads on how to do this.  What have been your experiences with taking the next step.  What do you find really annoying and would turn away people?  What don’t you mind?  What would you like to see more of?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Virginia

The Green Stuff is Growing!

This is our third year of doing seedlings and each year we have different problems.  This year’s problem is everything in the middle of the seedlings dries out and the seeds grow around the outside of the planter.  We’ll have to problem solve for next year.  Fortunately we still have enough to transplant and we should have a decent crop this year.  Though I was hoping for more tomato plants but we’ll see how that goes.

transplants 1 2013

Celery can be tricky.   I have fussed with this for four years now.  The first year we bought seedlings and they did quite well.  The next year I did seedlings and more than half died as I planted them.  We got a few that were wonderful.  Last year we did much better but these little guys, until well established, will die if you look at them wrong.   I was hopeful this year as I planted more than half a tray but we ran into the middle of the tray drying out frequently.  I hope to have 12 to transplant.  Fingers crossed.  Because fresh celery in soups is fabulous!

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Peppers are doing well for the most part.  We should have a bumper crop again this year.  We were overwhelmed last year but fortunately the community kitchen takes fresh produce and we could freeze some.  We have two sweet peppers and several hot peppers.  Great for hot pepper jelly!  Love that on cheddar.

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Our green house is officially open now.  I think.  We thought so a few weeks ago then winter came back and we had to pull everything back in.  Can you believe these leeks can get to be 5 feet long?!?  The seeds are so tiny!

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We’ve been lucky so far with the pak choi.  These were transplanted earlier and so far so good.  Though we may need to risk it and transplant again.  We’re on the fence.  I’ll be direct seeding soon as well.

This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous and definitely springlike next week so it is time to get a few veg in!  So excited.  :)

First Frost of the Season

Where we live it can get brutally hot and bitter cold.  One year we had a range of -30 F (-34 C) to 110 F (43 C)!  It was a bit much.  So for the gardens we have to expect anything and everything.  Last week we had our first frost of the season and it got chilly, down to 24 F (-4 C).  Which meant we had to protect our tender veg that was still going strong.  And right now that is nearly half our garden.

It was time to tuck a few raised beds in.  When you do this you want to use breathable fabric so the plants get air but the frost doesn’t settle on the leaves and veg.  When the sun starts to hit the plants remove the sheets and blankets.

The plants we tucked in were peas, beans, peppers, and celery.  As it was quite windy we had to use clamps and lots of rocks.

The next morning was a very pretty morning.

We actually still had a few blossoms on our strawberries but the plants are still small so we weren’t overly concerned.

I love how the frost settles on the plants in different patterns.  :)

I was thrilled to see the peas did well.

We were pushing it a bit with the peppers but most of the plants came through.

And I was equally surprised the celery did ok!  Which is good because we have a lot of it and don’t want it to go to waste.

Alas the growing season is coming to an end.  Soon the frosts will be too frequent and the warm days will be behind us.  It’s been a wonderful summer for the food.

Pleasantly surprised to be nominated…….

I am new to blogging and I woke up this morning to find I have been nominated for the Wonderful Team Membership award.  Thank you Sheila for nominating me.  You never know what the effect of your blog is so this is appreciated.


To pay it forward my 14 nominations for this award are as follows:

Homemade with Mess – I really enjoy the creative recipes that she posts.

Cindy Knoke – Love her photos and stories about traveling.

Sarah the Gardener – I enjoy reading about her garden coming alive as ours is being put to bed.

Putney Farm – Anyone who posts how to make bacon is good in my book.  I mean, seriously.  :)

Tales of a Clyde Woman – Has some great recipes and home tips.  Also, she just had a trip to the northeast and had some fun posts about  her trip.

Paradise has mosquitoes – She is an expat living in Portugal.  A quirky blog.  I love quirky.

Cooking in Sens – Rosemary is an American who moved to France and is in the middle of moving to Germany.  She blogs about her experiences with food along the way.

Recipes Happen – Bonnie has a great blog about cooking and saving money while cooking.

Food & Foto – Not only does Audrey post about wonderful recipes but her photos are great.

Food, Photography & France – Great sense of humour and fab recipes to boot!

A High School Foodie – Russell is a teenager that is mature beyond his age.  He has posted some amazing recipes and experiences.

Kiran’s Cooking Club – Honest to goodness Indian food.  How can you go wrong with this?

My Little Italian Kitchen – An Italian living in the UK, she follows the same thought I do in that the slow food movement is a good thing.  And I love Italian food.  :)

PS I Love Soap – I’ve always wanted to make soap and this is a fabulous spot to go to for information.

And now for the guidelines I got from Sheila:

Guidelines for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award are as follows:

  1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.
  2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.
  3. The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during
    7 day

I have to say I really enjoy the blogging world and connecting with people  around the world.  It has been a lot of fun and I am glad I jumped in and started doing it.  :)