Friday, June 27, 2014

Best Burger Roundup


To help kick off the Summer, here is compilation of my favourite burgers on the web by some of my favourite bloggers! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grilled Italian Chicken with Renée's Gourmet Salad Dressings

*This post was sponsored by Renée's Gourmet Salad Dressings, though all opinions are 100% my own.* 

I've always been a huge fan of Renée's Gourmet Salad Dressings.  Whenever I make a caesar salad, everyone always asks me for the recipe and the answer is always the same "It's Renée's".  Renée's makes salad dressings and dips that you will find in the refrigerator section of your grocery store - meaning it's fresher and isn't full of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients.  When you read the back of the bottle, you know exactly what you are getting - a real, wholesome product that you can feel good about feeding to your family.   These dressings aren't just for salad though, they make a for a really nice marinade as well! The vinegar in the dressing helps tenderize the meat, while the oil seals in the natural juices and gives the meat a nice, crispy, golden crust. 

When my husband and I first started dating, he would often make this recipe for me.  Italian dressing makes the perfect chicken marinade in his option, and I have to agree with him!  The spices are perfect, and the chicken is tasty enough that you can eat it without any sauces or dips. I often cook up a huge batch and freeze the cooked chicken breasts.  This works out awesome for quick dinners, salads, or other recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken. Because the marinate makes the chicken so juicy, it freezes really well and doesn't taste dry when it's defrosted like most chicken does.  I've also frozen fresh chicken with the marinade which works out really well - the chicken will marinate as it defrosts!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gourmet S'mores + Free Printable!

Gourmet S'mores Spread.
My friend Sarah has the most epic backyard parties.  Her "Food-on-a-Stick" get-together has got to be one of my absolute favourites (you might recall my post from last year when I made Greek Salad Skewers for the event). 

 This year I was debating making Homemade Marshmallows and Graham Crackers as my "Food-on-a-Stick" contribution, when Sarah posted a Gourmet S'mores Menu that she found online. Needless to say, it was solidified - a gourmet s'mores bar was happening! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Leftover Roast Beef Soup

My husband is a real meat and potatoes kind of guy.  I'm pretty sure that if I fed him meat with a side of meat, he would be completely okay with it!  Needless to say we have a lot of roast beef meals in our house.  I try to make one up as often as possible, but being as how there are only two of us, we tend to eat for 2-3 days and it can get a bit boring.  I'm not really a huge fan of leftovers, so whenever I can I try to repurpose the meal so that it doesn't have a "leftovers" feel to it.  
When I was little, my Dad always made hot roast beef sandwiches for us the day after Mom cooked up a roast.  He would take the leftover roast beef, slice it nice and thin, then fry it up in the leftover gravy and serve it over warm buttered toast.  I remember looking forward to the leftovers more than the roast beef itself.  While I still enjoy eating my leftovers this way once in awhile, I've been trying to eat a bit healthier lately so soup has been a good choice. 
This soup can be made with whatever leftovers you have on hand.   I like to think of it as a cross between french onion soup, leftover roast beef, and whatever else I have in my fridge.  If you had roasted veggies or mashed potatoes with your roast, go ahead and throw that into the broth as well. As a general rule I like to make sure that I only have 1 type of starch (potatoes, noodles, rice, quinoa), but I will literally throw whatever veggies I have on hand into this - I hardly ever make this soup the same way twice! 
- 2 tsp butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2-3 slices of leftover roast beef, diced 
- 1 L beef broth
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup noodles of choice

Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  

Add butter or olive oil and sauté onion for 2-3 minutes until lightly translucent.  

Add zucchini, and lightly sauté for 1-2 minutes.  

Add leftover roast beef, beef broth, worcestershire sauce and pepper and turn heat to high.  

Once boiling, reduce heat back to medium and add noodles.   Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until noodles are completely cooked. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Easy Homemade Pasta

This recipe appeared in my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice in their Thursday, June 5th edition. 

[One of the best things about being a food blogger is the awesome little kitchen gems that are handed down to me by friends and family. A friend recently went through her kitchen and found an old-fashioned pasta machine and promptly gifted it to me.  Last Christmas my brother also gave me a pasta maker and ravioli kit that he found at an Italian store in the city.  Needless to say, the universe was telling me that I would be learning how to make pasta this year, and I’ve decided to document the experience so that you can try making homemade pasta too! If you don’t have access to a pasta maker, be sure to check out local garage sales (I have seen several at them so far this year) or even your local thrift store!

The below recipe is the one that came with the instructions for my pasta maker, and it worked out really well!  A quick Google search before starting concluded that nearly all pasta recipes are exactly the same, with a few variances between quantities.  Most recipes call for special types of flour, however I consulted with a friend who frequently makes her own pasta and all-purpose works just fine!  It’s important to use a good quality olive oil for this though, as you will definitely taste it in the pasta. 

Now, if anyone has an old-fashioned pasta drying rack that you’re trying to get rid of, you know where to find me…]

Recipe makes 4 servings

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼-½ tsp sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp good quality olive oil


Place flour and salt in a small pile on a clean countertop.  Punch a hole in the middle with your fist and crack the eggs into it. 

Whip the eggs in the center of the dough slowly incorporating the flour.  Using your hands, combine the eggs and flour until the mixture is homogenous. Add olive oil and ¼-½ cup lukewarm water 1 tbsp at a time until a dough forms.  If your dough is too crumbly, add more water.  If it’s too wet, add more flour.  It should be slightly sticky but not so much that you can’t easily handle it. 
Knead the dough for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Split the dough into 2-3 balls and lightly coat each ball of dough with olive oil to prevent from drying out.  Wrap with plastic and place the balls of dough in a bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel.  Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. 

You are now ready to start rolling the dough through your pasta maker! 

Cooking time:  Bring water to a rapid boil, add a splash of olive oil and cook pasta for 5-7 minutes.  It’s important not to overcook your pasta so be sure to taste test to see if it’s ready. That age old trick of throwing a piece of cooked pasta at the wall really works – if it sticks to the wall without sliding down, your pasta is ready!

Nutritional Info (per ¼ recipe)

Calories - 265   Fat - 7    Carbs – 45     Protein - 11   Fibre – 2

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