Friday, June 24, 2016

bbq'd naan

I think the perfect accompaniment to any bbq is some fresh naan made right on the grill. It's pairs so well with chicken and beef and satisfies any carb lover. The best is when it's piping hot and covered in butter. Yes please.

We have tried many naan recipes over the years. Ones with yeast, ones without. Ones with yogurt and eggs. I think we have finally found a winner. I have made this version a few times and they turn out every time.

You don't even need a tandoor to get soft and chewy naan. A bbq is all you need! They don't take long, just put them on the grill for a couple minutes a side.

I'm using this recipe from but changed up the instructions a bit. I always use a mixer to knead the dough - why do more work than you need to? I also liked the results better when the dough had a few hours to rise. If you have less than an hour though, you will still get great tasting naan.

BBQ'd Naan

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 TB sugar
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.  Add salt and flour and turn the mixer on until the dough comes together into a ball. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place the dough in a warm place and let rise for a minimum of 45 minutes. More than a couple hours is ideal.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 8 balls. Place on a parchment lined sheet and cover again with a damp towel. When ready to barbecue, roll the balls out and put them on the grill for a couple of minutes per side.  Remove from the heat and spread butter on the hot naan.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

s'mores bars

Summer's here...yay! Time for bbq's, campfires and fire pits....and s'mores. There's not many who don't love charred gooey marshmallows nestled between graham crackers and melted chocolate. For those times when you feel like s'mores but roasting marshmallows isn't an option, here's an alternative!

These bars are made with Golden Graham cereal, held together with marshmallows. You can't forget the chocolate though and the drizzle on top of the bars are the perfect touch. These are great for a kids party or a summer potluck - delicious!

S'mores Bars

1/4 cup butter
5 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups Golden Graham cereal
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a pot. Add marshmallows and let them melt. Once melted, pull off the heat and add the cereal. Pour the mixture into a greased 9" x 9" pan and let cool. Melt the chocolate chips and place the melted chocolate in a sandwich bag. Cut off the tip and drizzle over the cereal mixture. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

breakfast at disney's aulani (honolulu)

This past February, I finally made it to Hawaii! I didn't need a gift for my birthday in March, just a trip with my family. We went to Honolulu with both sets of parents and had a wonderful time. Although we didn't spend our ten days at Aulani, Disney's resort in Hawaii, we did manage to go there for breakfast.

After taking a Disney cruise, we have become fans of  all things Disney so we were very excited for our morning at the Character Breakfast.

The Disney Character Breakfast takes place at Makahiki, the restaurant located on the first floor. Our first stop was a picture with the top mouse himself, Mickey. He took the time to shake hands with the kids and give out hugs. We were also given enough time to take pictures with him as a large group as well as smaller groups. The line wasn't huge and this one-on-one was a pleasant surprise.

Makahiki is all about buffet dining and there was so much variety for breakfast. They had a little kids station which was stocked with Mickey waffles (!), scrambled eggs and tater tots.  Breakfast also included an omelet station, smoked salmon, various meats and cheeses, loads of fruit, eggs, pastries and dessert. There is definitely something for everyone!

We had visits from Goofy and Minnie who took the time to come by and take pictures. Aunty entertained with her ukelele and got the kids to participate in a little performance around the restaurant.  It was such a memorable day!

If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, be sure to let them know when making a reservation. In true Disney style, they really do make you feel special.

Friday, June 10, 2016

how to make the perfect cup of chai

Without a doubt, my mom makes the best chai. Sure, you may think I'm biased, but I'm not the only one who thinks so. In fact, when we go to other people's houses, she is in charge of making the tea.

Everyone has their own way of making chai. Some stick to the basics - water, tea bags and you're done. Others use spices ranging from fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and even ginger. My mom keeps it simple.  To make tea her way, you need tea bags, cardamom and evaporated milk.

To make two cups of chai, take 2 cups of water along with 1 tea bag and place in a pot. Take 1 cardamom pod and open up the shell a little bit. Bring these ingredients to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and let the tea simmer for a little while. I think this simmering is key to making a fantastic cup of chai. My mom doesn't add sugar to the pot, rather customizing it for each person since the amount is such a personal thing. If you prefer to add sugar to the whole pot, you can add it when you add the milk. Mom always strains the tea, whether using loose leaf or bag, ensuring the perfect creamy cuppa.

Ever since she discovered Tea India, my mom won't use any other brand. She says its a nice strong tea and the flavour is one that can't compare to others. They have a variety of flavours from Orange Pekoe, Masala, Cardamom and Ginger. They offer their teas in both loose leaf form as well as tea bags.

Want to try Tea India for yourself? You can win a Tea India mug with a couple samples of their loose leaf tea. Let me know how you like your tea - black, milky, iced, in latte form. Leave a comment below, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Contest closes Saturday, June 18th, 2016.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

key lime tarts

Key lime pies are the perfect summer time desserts. Sweet and tart, one bite and I'm reminded of the Florida Keys.

What's even better than key lime pies? Key lime tarts! Who doesn't love having their own little dessert? These silky, citrusy bites are made even better topped with whipped cream.

These are great to whip up when you have company coming since they literally take 5 minutes to prepare.

Key Lime Tarts

8-10 frozen tart shells
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 small egg yolks or 1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup key lime juice

Combine the condensed milk, egg yolks and key lime juice and mix until well combined. Pour into the prepared crust and bake at 300 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Once cool, refrigerate. Serve with whipping cream. Garnish with key lime zest.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

in and around calgary

There's been a lot going on the last couple months in Calgary. From restaurant openings, new menus and celebrations, it's been busy! Here's what's been happening!

PZA Parlour
This new restaurant is located in the SW, taking over the space that was once home to Red Robin. The decor is great and the restaurant features a planter wall and even a Vespa.

I came for a bloggers dinner and we were treated to an amazing meal!

From crispy calamari to cheesy pizza to the best doughnuts topped with Nutella!

Thomsons Restaurant Summer Menu
I was invited to check out Thomsons new summer menu. We tried their Apple & Brie Grilled Cheese as well as their signature dishes like their Steak Bites made with Alberta Beef. I also loved their nachos, especially with their lime sour cream.

They have quite a list of cocktails to enjoy as well. Perfect for enjoying on their patio.

Second Cup Reimagined
Second Cup Coffee Co. unveiled its first-ever cafe of the future in Calgary. With a completely new look, you would never guess that this was a Second Cup!

Some of the items that stood out were:
The Slow Bar which features the Steampunk - a coffee brewing system that is uses technology to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

A Wireless Charging Station

Community Wall Mural

The new concept store in Calgary is located in the Braeside Shopping Centre.

Veg-In YYC

Veg-In YYC is a new vegetarian cafe open in Downtown Calgary. From sandwiches to burgers, these meals are made using the freshest ingredients. These vegan and vegetarian dishes have an east indian influence. Don't forget to get your chai or lassi!

Good Earth Coffee House

Good Earth Coffee House opened its first location on 11th Street in Calgary 25 years ago! Since then, its grown to over 45 locations nationwide.  Congrats on your anniversary!

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