Friday, January 23, 2015

thai chicken larb

Around here, we love our thai food! I had been to Thailand once before, when I was in junior high. I'm determined to go back and learn the secrets to their delicious food. The curries, the rice, the salads - it's just too good!

Larb seemed like something easy to prepare and it was! I had looked at many different recipes and they were all so different. I took components of what I liked, and what I had in the house, and made this version. I left out the chilis, opting to use Sriracha on top, so that everyone in the house could enjoy it. Although, truth be told, I'm pretty sure Q can handle things spicier than me.

With lemongrass, mint and lime, this dish was screaming with flavour. Even 9 month old Z enjoyed it! Although I was hoping for leftovers, there were none in sight! This will definitely be making the rounds again next week.

Thai Chicken Larb
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 TB minced garlic
1/2 TB fish sauce 
Handful of mint
Handful of cilantro
1 2" piece of lemongrass, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped 
1 lime, juiced
1 TB brown sugar
2 TB fish sauce 
Sriracha sauce 
Brown the chicken with the garlic and fish sauce. Once cooked, add the mint, cilantro, lemongrass, green onion and shallot.  In a bowl, combine the lime, brown sugar and fish sauce. Once the herbs and vegetables are mixed with the chicken, add the lime mixture. Scoop into lettuce cups and top with sriracha.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

generations by karisma, part 2

One of the highlights of staying at the Generations Resort by Karisma in the Mayan Riviera was the food. With the resort boasting Gourmet Inclusive, the food and the experience was amazing. We were happy to not eat from a buffet for every meal and were able to try some outstanding dishes. Here is a glimpse of some the food we enjoyed.

The only buffet at the resort was the Chef Market which was open for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast featured an omelet station and lots of continental fare to make everyone happy. The bread was amazing and the crepes were a treat. Lunch featured some great items like seafood and pasta. Salsa, guacamole and ceviche were a constant. It was delicious!

Jade was one of our favourites featuring pan-asian cuisine. We enjoyed sushi, tempura, gyozas and lots of seafood. One evening, we had the Shabu Shabu hot pot with chicken, fish, beef and shrimp and vegetables. It was a fun interactive meal!

Habb was a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant. We started  with hummus, tzatziki and pita followed by tuna carpaccio, beef kebabs, braised beef and salmon stuffed ravioli.

Wine Kitchen was another beauty with glass bottles adding to the decor. The thai mussels and the duck with lentils were my favourites while hubby and Q's faves were the scallops and beef tenderloin.

Palms Gourmet Terrace was the restaurant by the pool open for lunch. Shrimp tacos and calamari filled our bellies while we took a break from the beach. Of course salsa and guacamole was a must at every meal!


Hubby was away this weekend but we kept ourselves busy. Q and I made it to the movies to see Paddington, which I just loved! Set in London, it really made me miss the place. Definitely worth a visit soon!

Breakfast was a treat this weekend with my mom making vitumbua, an East African treat. Made with rice flour and coconut and flavoured with cardamom and nutmeg, these little cakes are brown almost crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

These are made in kadais, kind of like little cast iron woks.They can also be made in a dutch pancake pan. These are perfect for breakfast with a steaming cup of chai.

2 lb rice flour
2 tsp instant yeast
3/4  of a 141 g package of pure creamed coconut
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
On the stove, combine 1/2 cup of water with the coconut until it is melted. Combine this with the flour and yeast and add enough water to make a thick batter. Keep overnight.
In the morning, to the yeast mixture, add eggs, sugar, cardamom and nutmeg. Mix well. Let this sit for half an hour. 
If using a large kadai, add 2 TB of oil to each pan and heat the oil on high heat. Once heated, turn down the heat to medium, add 1/4 cup of batter and cook until brown. Turn using a couple of spoons or forks and continue cooking. Each vitumbua takes approximately 5 minutes to cook.

Friday, January 16, 2015

corbeaux bakehouse

After seeing all the delicious pictures being posted on Instagram about Corbeaux Bakehouse, I couldn't wait to check it out for myself. Located in the former Melrose, the space had been transformed and it looked like a little bit of Europe in Calgary.

We arrived early on Friday and were happy to be seated right away. I had a cup of hot chocolate while I decided on breakfast. There were a lot of choices!

We knew we had to try the bread so we shared the bread basket which contained a few varieties along with butter and jam. The bread was so good and comforting and way more than two people needed to eat.

I was happy to see the buratta on the menu and we definitely wanted to try that. The cheese was soft and paired well with the tomato jam that it was served with. The jam was our favourite, sweet with a kick of spice.

I opted for the duo of poached eggs with salt, pepper and gremolata. We also ordered some bakehouse potatoes to go with our eggs. The potatoes were cooked up in duck fat with some caramelized onions and green onions. They made the perfect accompaniment to the eggs.

We also indulged and ordered some hollandaise sauce for the eggs. Definitely worth the splurge! 

Our very delicious and filling breakfast was finished off with brioche donuts with lemon curd which were served nice and warm.

Along with their sit down menu, Corbeaux offers a huge variety of pastries and cakes that you can enjoy. With his sweet tooth, I knew Q would love the almond croissant which he devoured after dinner.

It was a great morning and I can't wait to go back to try out all their lunch and dinner offerings. Definitely a place worth checking out!

Corbeaux Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

generations by karisma, part 1

It's been almost a month since we spent a glorious week in Mexico, staying at the Generations Resort by Karisma in the Mayan Riviera. We actually won our stay there, winning at the Great Canadian Beef Cookout. It was such a wonderful trip that I couldn't wait to share all the details. Everything was five star from the resort, the food (oh the food!), the activities for the kids and of course, enjoying the Canadian Beef Culinary Series. Enjoying Canadian beef in Mexico was certainly a treat!

Today's post will set the scene. Be sure to stay tuned on Tuesdays in January for more on our trip and lots of food porn!

We were picked up from the airport and taken to the resort in a luxury SUV. The weather was hot so it was nice to be in an air conditioned vehicle on the half hour drive to the resort. We were met at the door with drinks and smiling faces. After checking in, we were introduced to our butler who took us to our room and showed us around. Our butlers were amazing! Ivan and Luiz took great care of us, ensuring that we had everything we needed. They were the best!

Our room was huge! There was lots of space and included a living room, a kitchen, a huge dining table, 2 bathrooms, a private outdoor shower and a very spacious bedroom. Although we were on the third floor, we also had an infinity pool right outside our balcony. From the second we got there, we didn't want to leave.

Travelling with a baby can be hard with all the stuff that you need to take with you. The hotel took care of us in that department too! They had everything ready for us - a crib, a stoller, a playpen, a bottle sterilizer, a bottle warmer, a change table and even baby food.

The hotel boasts a Gourmet Inclusive Experience, meaning the restaurants and the food that they serve are amazing and definitely above par. More on that next week!

There are many pools on the grounds as well as a swim up bar. We spent a lot of time in the cabanas on the beach. Q was able to play in the sand or the ocean while Z napped. The beach butlers Ivan and Enrique ensured our cabana was ready for us to enjoy. They even had a cart that had sunscreen, newspapers, books and sand toys - you really didn't have to bring a single thing!

I had a chance to check out the greenhouse that was located at the El Dorado Royale next door. It's the first resort greenhouse in the region and was quite impressive at 100,000 square feet. The facility produces eight to ten tonnes of herbs, fruits and vegetables per month and distributes it to all the Karisma resorts in the region.

The Entertainment Team at the resort were amazing! The team of four - Alex, Oscar, Penelope and Carolina - were always there ready to have a good time. They quickly learned our names and spent lots of time with the kids, giving them loads of attention. Q got attached to all of them and still misses them.

There was entertainment every night. From acrobats to dancers to magicians, the performers always put on quite a show.

There was a lot for the kids to do, which I loved! The Eko Kids Club was a fun place for Q to go during the day and hang out with other kids. There was a ball pit, video games and lots of arts and crafts. Part of the club was Little Eko Chefs. The kids got to wear chef hats and aprons and were able to make something different every day. Q had fun making gazpacho, tortillas and even sushi. It was so great that they had this!

It was a great resort with amazing service. There is no question that we will go back!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

karisma and canadian beef

The holidays are done and we are back to our busy routine. School, work, extra curricular activities - it is definitely back to the grind.

We were lucky to escape in December, and oh what an escape it was! We enjoyed a week at the Generations Resort by Karisma in the Mayan Riviera while enjoying the Canadian Beef Culinary Series at the El Dorado Hotel next door. It was a wonderful week and Q keeps asking when we get to go back. If you were following along on Instagram, you know how spoiled we were while enjoying the Mexican sun. Looking forward to sharing about our trip next week for Travel Tuesday. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

happy new year!

Wishing you all a very sweet year sprinkled with loads of love and a whole lot of happy!


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