Tuesday, July 27, 2010

greek chicken kabobs

We finally had a fabulous hot weekend and it was the perfect weather to enjoy the Kensington Sun and Salsa Festival.  We tried many different salsas - spicy, cool, red, green - but my favorite was Broken Plate's greek salsa made with feta.  It was delicious and I was inspired by the mediterranean flavours.  I had thawed chicken breasts waiting for me at home for the next day's dinner, the perfect canvas to play!  A little of this and a little of that and I came up with this tasty marinade that left the chicken flavourful and juicy.

Greek Chicken Kabobs
1 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style or homemade)
1/4 cup seasoned feta cheese
2 TB greek seasoning (I used Club House)
2 cloves of garlic
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3 chicken breasts, cubed

In a bowl, mix first 6 ingredients.  Add the chicken and marinate overnight.  Skewer the chicken and bbq.  Perfect with salad and grilled smashed potatoes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

avocado milkshake

Avocados and milkshake?  I know, a weird combination.  When I heard of it, I was skeptical.  I had a couple of avocados that were really ripe and needed to be used right away.  I was going to make my usual guacomole, but then our painter who was over, started talking about how wonderful avocado milkshake was.  I didn't think it would be good, but I was up for an experiment.  Boy was I wrong!  This drink was delicious and Q couldn't get enough.  Thanks J for the suggestion!

Avocado Milkshake

1 avocado
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
Blitz in a blender until combined.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

great food and great service at kinjo (wish we could say the same for shibuya)

While running errands in the south end of town this weekend, we stopped for lunch at one of my favorite sushi stops - Kinjo!  Kinjo is located on Macleod Trail, just south of Chinook Centre.

Kinjo is one of those rare places that you consistently get great food and great service.  As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted with many hellos and friendly faces.  Luckily we missed the lunch rush and were seated right away.

Although the owner Peter wasn't there, Henry came over and made us feel welcome and brought over a little orange head for Q.  The staff made a conscious effort to take care of all of us, even our toddler, which was much appreciated.  The waitress even brought over chopsticks wrapped in elastic for Q so that he could get an early start at learning how to use them.

We were brought a sampler sushi plate to devour while we ordered and our sushi came quick.  The food was fantastic as always.  The new thing we tried was the tempura avocado which was so good, we had to order a second plate.

I love that the staff at Kinjo are so accomodating.  Other places, like Shibuya, could learn a lot from them.  We went to Shibuya a couple weeks ago.  Close to Centre Street on 16th Avenue, we ducked into the restaurant when Q showed signs of hunger.  We knew the California Roll would do the trick and after peeling away the seaweed, he devoured the crab and avocado filling. 

For the next round, we requested just the filling, no seaweed, which seemed to confuse the staff.  Our waitress said that they wouldn't know how to charge us so they couldn't do it.  When we told them that it was for Q, and that whatever filling they would use in a roll to just put in a bowl, they refused.  The reluctance of the staff to accomodate us and the rolling eyes of the hostess definitely put Shibuya on the "stay away" list.

As for Kinjo, we will be back, many times over.

Kinjo Sushi & Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 15, 2010

garlic lemon shrimp orzo

As much as I love cooking, sometimes after a long day at work, the last thing I want is to spend time in the kitchen.  With a 20 month old though, its not always easy to grab some takeout that has the nutrition that is important in his diet.  This is one of my favorite dishes and it's a quick and easy dish to prepare.  The starch from the orzo makes the dish creamy, like a faux risotto.  Q can be moody about food, and things he likes one day can be something he doesn't touch the next.  This orzo is tasty and comforting and a dish that he never says no to.  This dish is inspired by Ina Garten's Baked Shrimp Scampi.

Garlic Lemon Shrimp Orzo

1 pound of peeled, deveined shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
grated lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 TB butter
2/3 cup panko
1/2 cup orzo, cooked

Cook the shrimp in oil until almost cooked through. Add the garlic, onions, tomatoes, and lemon zest and stir.  Add in the lemon juice, butter and panko and stir until mixture becomes thick.  Add orzo and stir until combined.

Monday, July 12, 2010

stampede breakfast with pancakes and beans

It's Stampede time in our beautiful city of Calgary, which means an abundance of pancakes, cowboy hats and country music.  For 10 days, people come together to celebrate "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".

This past weekend, we attended the Ismaili Muslim Community Stampede Breakfast.  Feeding nearly 5000, this is the 14th year of the annual breakfast.  This year, the community partnered with the United Way of Calgary, and the Ismaili float was decorated to highlight the importance of high school completion for overall lifetime success

It was so great to have friends and co-workers join us at this event.  Everyone enjoyed the pancakes, eggs and bharazi - an East African dish of pigeon peas in coconut curry.  Since so many requested the recipe, I called up my aunt who is on the catering committee and she shared the recipe which is below.  She is a genius at cooking and she was able to rattle the recipe off in seconds.

Bharazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Curry)

1 can of pigeon peas, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp green chilis, blended
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 can of coconut milk
1/4 can of evaporated milk

Cook the onion in oil until softened.  Add the tomatoes, spices and milk and cook until mixture starts boiling.  Add peas and cook until curry thickens.  Finish the dish off with a generous amount of cilantro.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

grilled pineapple salsa

Has it already been 2 weeks since my last post?  The days just seem to be flying by and we are already in July!  We are finally enjoying some wonderful summer weather and there's no better time to do some grilling.  Grilling at my house is a year round affair but nothing beats grilling fruit in the summer.  My favorite is grilled pineapple, the bbq bringing out even more sweetness.  While preparing Mahi Mahi burgers for dinner, I figured the best topping would be a grilled pineapple salsa.  The combination of sweet pineapple, smoky roasted red peppers with a spicy kick was fresh and delicious. 

And hey, if you have some extra grilled pineapple, spread some Nutella and sprinkle some nuts and you have yourself dessert!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Grilled pineapple, cubed
Roasted red peppers, chopped finely
Green onions
Red onions
Lime juice
Hot sauce

Toss and serve!

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