Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!


The Lean Green Bean

Don't forget there are only 2 days left to enter my Giveaway with Cuppow

I first heard about Foodie Penpals from my blogger friend Carrie over at Bakeaholic Mama.  I saw her post for reveal day in May, and within minutes I was signed up.  I mean, who doesn't like getting presents in the mail, especial food ones?  The program was created by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean.  If you are interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, you can find all of the info here.

This month I sent a package to Rebecca over at Crunchy Can Feel Good.   Be sure to  head over to her blog to see the goodies that I sent her

Now let's get to goods! 

I received my package this month from Melanie over at The Rest of the Story. It was if she had known me my entire life.  She sent me a great getting-to-know-you questionaire (infact I used some of her questions on my new FAQ page).   Her package actually arrived on my birthday, which was really cool!  It was like a double present! 

I opened the box and was immediatly greeted with my favourite color (pink).  It's such a fun happy color, it always puts a smile on my face to see it, so that was nice!  


I opened the card first (pink again!) and was pleasantly surprised with a recipe in addition to Melanie's hand written note.  I was really excited when I saw it because I love lemon poppy seed, and it's even better because it's made with yogurt!  I knew immediatly that I would be trying this recipe in the near future. 



It turned out that Melanie actually sent me a homemade loaf to try as well - I was estatic!  I could hardly wait to take unwrap it and carve off a slice to try, when I did - heaven!  I can't wait to try baking this recipe myself. 


The pink that popped out at me when I opened the box was microfibre cleaning cloths.  You can never have too many of these!  


Cutest. Chocolate. Bar. Ever.  I've never tried this brand before, but the flavours sound intriguing!  I will be snacking on this the next time a chocolate craving hits for sure! 


Chocolate Almonds - This was a neat spin on chocolate covered almonds.  Instead of being dipped in melted chocolate, they are coated in powdered chocolate instead.  Very cool - Marc is really enjoying these!



Next up - Godiva chocolates.  I usually purchase a package of these choclates when I go to Chapters to pick up books.  I haven't tried the white chocolate kind yet, but being a huge fan of white chocolate I was really excited to see these in the mix.  They are the perfect size for a quick chocolate fix. 


Homemade chocolate chip cookies!  I love homemade things more than anything, so these were a nice treat.  Upon biting into them I was immediately reminded of the chocolate chip cookies that my Mom made back in the day. 


I love granola - I was so excited to see this in with my treats - and white chocolate macadamia nut to boot!  I'll be putting this on my yogurt later in the week for sure! 


I wish I would have gotten a picture of the actual chips - they were not what I expected at all!  I thought that they would be similar to a rice cake, but they were closer to the texture of a tortilla chip.  I might have to pick these up again and try them with homemade salsa! 


A photo of all my loot together:


All in all I was completely spoiled and left with some great ideas for July's edition of Foodie Penpals.  A big thanks to Melanie for sending me such great stuff! 
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cuppow Giveaway




One lucky winner will receive their very own Cuppow!  What is a Cuppow you ask?  A Cuppow is the awesome brainchild of two guys named Joshua and Aaron.  Together they came up with an easy solution for drinking from a canning jar.  You can read more about their story and this amazing product here.  

How to win...

Tell me what beverage you will fill the mason jar underneath your Cuppow with?

For additional entries (leave a separate comment for each that apply):

1) Like Cooking With Jax on Facebook by clicking HERE
2) Follow Cooking With Jax on Twitter by clicking HERE
3) Follow Cooking With Jax on Pinterest by clicking HERE
4) Follow Cuppow on Facebook by clicking HERE
5) Follow Cuppow on Twitter by clicking HERE
6) Share this giveaway on Facebook/Twitter. 

Up to 7 entries per person. Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.  Be sure to leave your -email address so I can reach you if you win!  

Giveaway Ends on July 1st at 11:59pm. Winner will be announced on July 
2nd.

Disclaimer: Cuppow has not provided me with monetary compensation for any review of their product.  They have offered to send one lucky reader their product.  I found their product organically and LOVED it so we decided to pair together for a giveaway. All opinions about this product are my own.  



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lobster Corn Chowder w/ Candied Salmon



This week I was picking up a few things at the grocery store and I saw some pre-cooked lobsters on sale (likely leftovers from a Father's Day special).  I don't usually buy lobster (it's so darn expensive here!) - but it was a price I just couldn't pass up.  Partially due to my inexperience with this type of shellfish, as well as my lack of proper tools (I used a nutcracker) getting the meat out of this guy was a challenge, but it was well worth the effort! 




I ended up adding the candied salmon to the soup as an afterthought.  Marc doesn't eat pork and sometimes I miss the smokiness that bacon can add to a dish.  The candied salmon was a nice addition to an already flavourful soup. 


If you're not a fan of seafood, omit the meat entirely for an awesome corn chowder!


Ingredients
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 lobster, meat only
- 1/2 cup candied salmon, chopped
- 1/8 tsp basil 
- sea salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 L broth (I used chicken because that's all I had)
- 1 cup half and half

Directions

Pre-heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Melt butter and sauté shallots and garlic until half cooked.  Add diced vegetables and spices and continuing sautéing until veggies are slightly translucent.

Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked through.  Add half and half and bring back to a boil.  Toss in lobster and candied salmon and cook until heated through. 
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bagel and Lox


My husband really enjoys lox so we made this for dinner the other night (traditionally it's a breakfast food, though it seemed like the perfect "hot day supper").  There are several ways that you can enjoy lox - however this seems to be the most common combination. 

I'm not a huge fan of raw fish (I usually order "dynamite" or "California rolls" whenever we go for sushi). I am a huge fan of salmon however (especially when its smoked) so I thought I would give this recipe a try.  While I don't think it will be hitting my plate on a weekly basis, it will definitely be a nice treat - perhaps for brunch next time we have company in town?
Ingredients
- 1 bagel (pictured is an "Everything" bagel - my favourite!)
- 2 tbsp cream cheese (I used dill)
- 3 slices of lox (thinly sliced smoked salmon)
- 3-5 thin slices of purple onion
- 4-6 capers
- sprig of fresh dill (optional)

Directions
Assemble sandwich in order of ingredients. 

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Barbecued Apple Crisp




Here is the recipe that is being featured in The Hinton Voice this week.  It is still incredibly surreal seeing my recipes in print!  I absolutely love the first Thursday of every month!  :) 

Now that its quite nice outside in the mornings, I have started reading my paper on the deck with a cup of coffee - it's a few moments of Zen before my crazy day begins. 




[There are several things that mean summer to me - and of course barbecuing is high up on that list.   We embarked on our first barbecue of the year a few weeks ago.  Some may say we are way behind the game… and they would be absolutely correct.

Our only barbecue uses charcoal, which, unlike a propane barbecue, can’t be turned off when you are finished using it - you have to wait for the coals to burn out.  Because the barbecue stays warm long after you’re done cooking, my husband and I are always trying to come up with new things to grill during the barbecue’s downtime (i.e. after dinner).  Last year we grilled a flat of tomatoes that we had intended to be made into a spaghetti sauce.  That would have been great if we didn’t forget about the aforementioned tomatoes until they were charred to a crisp – lesson learned. 

The other night, after the steaks were grilled, my husband threw a couple of apples onto the grill.  He sliced a hole in the top and sprinkled each with cinnamon, olive oil, and a dash of sugar.  They were delicious! 

The next night I was slicing up potatoes to be placed in a foil pack for yet another barbecue when it occurred to me to try apples the same way.  Well one thing lead to another, and the next thing you know, fresh apple crisp was in a neatly wrapped foil pack ready to be throw on the grill.]

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- 6 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter, plus more for foil
- 3 apples (I used Fiji)
- squeeze of lemon juice

Directions

Combine oats, flour, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Toss bowl in the fridge while you prepare the apples.

Wash apples and pat dry.  Core and slice apples, then toss them with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Cut two squares of foil (about a foot each) and lightly butter the center of each piece.


Place the apples onto of one of the foil pieces and then sprinkle with the crumble mixture.


Place the top piece of foil (butter side down) on the package and crimp the edges inwards (about a cm) one at a time until the package is well sealed. I usually do about three crimps per side to make sure it’s sealed really well.   Wrap the entire package in another layer of tinfoil - this will help prevent burning around the edges.  


Place the foil pack on the grill (pre-heated to a medium heat – about 350 degrees) for about 20 minutes.


Let cool a minute or two before opening, as the contents will be very hot. 


Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dash of cinnamon.


- Nutritional Info (1/3 recipe) -

Calories - 342   Fat - 9    Carbs – 66     Protein - 4   Fibre – 6



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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oreo Truffles




I'll admit, I jumped on the Oreo truffle bandwagon the SECOND I saw them on Pinterest.  I referred to this blog for instructions (some other sites called for double the cream cheese, but I couldn't even imagine using that much - the amount below worked just fine).  These somewhat remind me of the Oreo Pops I made with Holly over at Hobo Chic Project last summer... 
Ingredients
- 1 family size package of Oreos (550 g)
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 pkg candy melts or 1-2 pkg bakers chocolate
- sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Place whole Oreos in a food processor until finely ground.  Place Oreo crumbs in a large mixing bowl and combine with softened cream cheese.  You can use a spoon to mix, but I find hands are the best way to go about this. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes to firm up for easier rolling.

Using a measuring spoon, scoop 1 tbsp dough and roll into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or a silicone baking mat and refrigerate for another 20 minutes until firm.  Note:  this part will get a bit messy just because the dough is SO greasy - fear not though, it will firm right back up after it's been in the fridge.

Melt candy melts or bakers chocolate in a bowl, and dip balls using a fork (the excess will strain through the fork tines).  Sprinkle with crushed Oreo cookies or sprinkles (or both!) right away, before the chocolate has a chance to harden. 

Refridgerate until chocolate is hardened and Enjoy!  Store truffles in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.  

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