Monday, August 22, 2016

quinoa salad

With all those fresh ingredients out there, summer is the best time for salads. I have to say, simple salads are just not for me. I love a salad with all the extras, like nuts and cheese.

This is one of my favourite salads. I first had a variation of this salad five years ago at Julie's potluck. It was a copycat of Earl's West Coast Salad and had delicious prawns and the most amazing dressing. Since then, I've made this salad many times, each time simplifying it a bit more so that I could make it anytime.

I use whatever greens I have on hand - romaine, spinach, kale - anything will do. It's rare that I add the prawns, making it a perfect side salad that goes with anything. I also just use roasted nuts, something I always have on hand. The salad calls for strawberries but I just use what's in my fridge. The avocado adds the perfect creamy touch. You need to try this salad, I'm sure it will become your favourite too!

Quinoa Salad

1 head of lettuce
2 cups cooked quinoa
8 large strawberries, quartered
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup roasted pecans
2 TB cilantro, chopped

Citrus Honey Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup oil
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB honey
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine dressing in a jar and mix well.  Place all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl and dress with the vinaigrette.

Friday, August 19, 2016

nobu, las vegas

Last month, hubby and I escaped for a few days to Las Vegas. It was a much needed break and it was so nice to escape from the real world.  On our first day there, we had dinner at Nobu in the Hard Rock Hotel. This one of our favourite meals and I just had to share it with you.

We had an early dinner since we were heading to the Jennifer Lopez concert. She is amazing by the way, and definitely a concert worth going to!

Once we were seated, we were served with edamame - always a great start to a meal.

Our first course was Tai Sashimi with Dry Miso. The fish was so fresh and the addition of the citrusy Uzu oil made it so refreshing.

Our second course was sushi, which was so fresh. The dish consisted of two pieces of salmon with wasabi, two pieces of scallops and two pieces of tuna. It also had a yellowtail jalapeno roll. It was melt in your mouth sushi. So good!

The third course was rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce. The shrimp were crispy and the sauce had a kick - it paired so well together.

Black cod with miso was our fourth dish and was so good! The fish was flaky and sweet and we were so happy we chose this for our main course.

We ended our meal on a sweet note with a panna cotta. The dish was beautiful topped with a chocolate wafer.

We had such a great night, we considered coming back for dinner the next night. The food was great, as was the service. Would definitely recommend an evening at Nobu!

Nobu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, August 15, 2016

chicken skewers with peanut dipping sauce

It's no secret that I love appetizers. I would prefer a whole meal of appetizers if given the choice.When we head out for Vietnamese or Thai food, we love ordering chicken satay skewers.

This is a spin on the satay chicken - chicken strips marinated in hoisin sauce with garlic and ginger. Grilled up, these are the perfect vehicle for some peanut dipping sauce. Even hubby who is not a fan of peanut butter loved the sauce. Hooray! Peanut butter is combined with lime juice, coconut milk and sambal oelek and made into a luscious sauce that you will want to lick off your plate. So much yum!

Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

4 chicken breasts, sliced in strips
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1, 2" piece of ginger, grated

2 TB peanut butter
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sambal oelek
1/4 cup coconut milk

Marinate the chicken in hoisin sauce, garlic and ginger for at least an hour. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill until done.

Mix the peanut butter, lime juice, sambal oelek and coconut milk until well combined. Add some chopped cilantro and serve with the grilled chicken skewers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

invivo wines

I'm happy to have my friend guest blog today! Thanks to Sabrina for this write up on Invivo Wines!

Invivo Wines of New Zealand is one of Alberta's fastest growing sauvignon blanc brands. This award winning wine was created with millenials in mind, with a product that is not complicated and tastes good.

A night out with friends enjoying wine is one of my favorite things, so when I heard how Invivo was created, I knew it was my kind of wine. Founded by a couple of old school friends that liked New Zealand wine so much, they started a winery to make some. So fabulous.

Invivo Wines is available at local Calgary locations so you can enjoy the wine when you're out with your friends. Locations include some of my favorites like 4th Street Kitchen & Bar, 80th & Ivy, Cibo and State & Main.

Don't feel like going out? Stay in! We enjoyed a night in with Invivo Wines. Game night, a glass of wine and even some chocolate from Epiphanie.  The perfect night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

virgin sangria

The weather has been weird with hot days and rainy evenings. We have been taking advantage of every hot minute by hanging out by the water and bbqs with friends.

This season's fruit is one of my favourite and it is perfect to showcase in this virgin sangria. Peaches, nectarines and strawberries all make an appearance in this refreshing drink. Mocktails are always appreciated around here and this is one that is sure to please everyone. Cheers!

Virgin Sangria

1 bottle sparkling apple cider
2 cans lemon lime soda
1/4 cup grenadine
1 nectarine, chopped
1 peach, chopped
10 strawberries, chopped
a few sprigs of mint

Combine all the ingredients and add lots of ice.

Monday, August 8, 2016

the incredible intergalactic journey home - giveaway

It's been a great couple months and the kids and I have had a fun time playing, exploring and enjoying the summer. We have also been trying to read more and were happy to discover the book, The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home. The book is published by Lost My Name who also released the book,  The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name which sold over 1.5 million copies in over 170 countries worldwide in less than two years.

The book follows a child and their robot friend on an adventure from outer space back down to their own house.  I love the personalization in this book, from the name of the main character right down to the child's neighbourhood and landmarks close to home.  The storyline and imagery are personalized based upon where they actually live - from the country flag on the spaceship and the view of Earth from outer space, to seeing familiar pictures of key country, city and town locations as the adventure gets closer to its conclusion where the child returns to their actual home address.

With names that are rarely seen in published material, the kids loved seeing their names in the book. It was easy to get them settled in for their nighttime read when the story was based on them.

Want to win a personalized copy for your little one? Enter below! Contest closes on August 16th, 2016. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

cutting corn on the cob

It's so nice to have fresh corn in the summer to add into salads and meals. Here's a great way to cut the corn off the cob with ease and not a lot of mess - with a bundt pan!

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