Monday, July 18, 2016

beef and mushroom lettuce wraps

It's been a year since we have moved into our new place and this year, I was determined to have a garden. Hubby built me a box and we thought we would try our hand at growing our own food. What started out as a couple things ended up into a dozen. We planted kale, butter lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, zucchini, onions, carrots and fruit. We were thrilled when we started to see things grow and our sparse box turned into a lush garden.

There's nothing like eating from your own garden. It's fresh and so rewarding to be eating something to you have grown yourself. The butter lettuce has been a big success, the leaves growing big and full. There's only so much salad you can eat though and so we have been using the lettuce as wraps.

These beef and mushroom wraps were a hit, with no leftovers. Adding the Korean pepper sauce, Gochujang, made Q happy since he can't seem to get enough of it. The beef fulfilled everyone's protein requirement and wrapping it in lettuce made us feel so great, eating a filling and healthy meal.

I'm happy to be participating in another Canadian Food Creatives Collaboration. This month's theme is Fresh from the Garden and is hosted by Cassie of Crumb Kitchen.  Check out all the fresh recipes and see this recipe below.

Beef and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

1 lb ground beef
200 grams white mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 TB gochujang
2 green onions, sliced
butter lettuce
green onions

Cook the ground beef and mushrooms until the mushrooms are tender and the ground beef is cooked. Add the garlic and the sauces and let cook for ten minutes.  Finish with the green onions.

Wrap the beef mixture in the lettuce, top with more green onions and serve with hoisin sauce and Sriracha.

Friday, July 15, 2016

mexican pasta salad

The best part of summer is the gatherings with friends. Barbecues and potlucks and beach picnics, the great weather is always a great excuse to get together.

Here's an easy dish for your next potluck. Pasta salad seems to be a staple at most parties but kick it up a notch with a Mexican flair. Use your favourite pasta and toss it with whatever veggies you have on hand. The salad is tied together with a dressing made with sour cream and taco seasoning. Easy peasy and super tasty!

Mexican Pasta Salad

1 lb pasta, cooked
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cans corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TB taco seasoning

Combine the the pasta with the vegetables. In a bowl, combine the sour cream with the taco seasoning. Toss with the pasta mixture. Serve cold.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

stampede wagon wheels

It's always a fun time in Calgary in July. Stampede is in full swing which means ten days of pancake breakfasts, the midway and lots of tasty carnival treats.

When we head down to the grounds, my kids and I always stop in for cookies and milk - a carton of milk and wagon wheel cookies, a steal at $2!

This year, Wagon Wheels has a limited edition Stampede theme. These classic marshmallow treats are in fun Stampede shapes - cowboy hats, wagon wheels and horseshoes! So fun!

Monday, July 4, 2016

sriracha-infused menu items at pizza 73...and a giveaway!

Pizza is one of my favourite things. Carbs, cheese, sauce and an endless variety of toppings - what's not to love? Usually when have pizza at home, you can be sure that the bottle of Sriracha is served alongside, adding just the perfect amount of heat.

Pizza 73 now has Sriracha-infused menu items, combining the delicious pizza with the spicy sauce. They sent us their new items to try and we loved them!

The Sriracha Chicken Pizza uses their new Sriracha Honey Garlic Sauce as the base and is topped with pineapple, chicken and fresh green peppers. Q couldn't get enough of their chicken wings which were tossed in the same sauce. I thought they would be too spicy for him but that didn't stop him from devouring them. They also have a new dipping sauce, the Sriracha Creamy Garlic Dipping Sauce which was perfect with their curly fries.

Want to win a $50 gift card to try out their new items for yourself? Leave a comment, either here, on Facebook, on Twitter or on Instagram, and let me know what you like on your pizza. Contest closes on Monday, July 11th at 11:59pm MST. Two winners will be chosen.  Good luck!

Friday, July 1, 2016

nanaimo bars

Happy Canada Day! There's always so much to do to celebrate Canada's birthday. We spent the morning hanging by the lake, taking in some local celebrations.

Later in the day, we had a potluck with friends. I thought it would be fun to have some Canadian treats and definitely wanted Nanaimo bars to be on the menu.

Nanaimo bars actually take me back to my childhood. I remember making them with my mom in anticipation of sleepovers at my house with my friends. That and Nightmare on Elm Street pretty much summed up those nights with the girls.

I couldn't find the recipe that we used to make so used this one from Anna Olson. I substituted almonds for the walnuts and didn't add the salt on top. They were a hit!

Nanaimo Bars
Adapted from Anna Olson

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 TB cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 TB butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar
2 TB vanilla custard powder
Pinch of salt
3 TB milk
1 tsp vanilla

4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 TB unsalted butter

Crust: Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Grease an 8" square pan and line with parchment paper. Combine the graham crumbs with cocoa and salt, then add the coconut and nuts. Stir in the melted butter and the egg and stir until blended. Press into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes. Cool the crust completely before preparing the filling.

Filling: Beat the butter with 1 cup of the icing sugar, custard powder and salt until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla and beat, then add the remaining 1 cup of icing sugar. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.

Topping: Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring gently until melted. Cool the chocolate slightly and pour over the filling, smoothing it out with an offset spatula. Chill the pan for 2 hours before slicing into bars.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

wonderful watermelon

It's almost time for the long weekend! Time for food on the grill, hanging with friends, and of course, watermelon! Watermelon is the ultimate summer time fruit. Summer memories always include hot days eating cold watermelon. It is so refreshing and also so versatile!

Having this delicious fruit as a sweet treat is an easy way to serve it, but I love adding a savoury touch. I drizzle watermelon with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and finish with a sprinkle of feta and basil. Not a common pairing but oh so good!

The ideas on how to serve watermelon are endless. Check out all the fabulous recipes below!

Minted Watermelon and Cucumber Salad from a Virtual Vegan

Raw Watermelon Candy from The Taste Space

Maple Lemon Fruit Salad from Bake For Granted

Watermelon and Strawberry Fruit Salsa from I Say Nomato

Watermelon Lime Honey Popsicles from Sugar Love Spices

Watermelon, Feta and Tomato Confit Stacked Salad from My Kitchen Love

Skinny Greek Chicken Bowl with Watermelon and Feta from Flavour & Savour

 Detoxifying Watermelon Mint Limeade from Justine Celina

Pink Power Smoothie-Juice from Occasionally Eggs

Grilled Peach, Strawberry & Watermelon Salsa from Bakers Beans

Watermelon Refresher from Bakers Beans

Watermelon Mint Paletas from Satori Design for Living

Vegan Watermelon Pizza Dessert from The Cookie Writer

Watermelon and Coconut Popsicles from The Cookie Writer

Watermelon "Cake" from Making Healthy Choices

Watermelon Rose Smoothie from Food Mamma

Watermelon Lime Spritzer from Food Mamma

Watermelon Feta Salad from Food Mamma

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