Saturday, January 28, 2012

a week in paradise

We just spent a week in paradise.  As temperatures fell in Calgary and we finally started experiencing winter, we flew to Cancun and enjoyed the sun, sand and heat in the Mayan.
We traveled with some close friends who had 2 kids - a 3 year old like Q, and a 1 year old.  Q and J kept each other company - they are the best of friends. They have a total love/hate relationship and as much as they fight and compete, they are lost without each other. After having a shouting match in Tulum in front of a group of tourists, over who was more mad at the other, one lady remarked how they were like a married couple.
As with most all-inclusives, you pray that the resort you're staying at has good food.  Really, if the food is good, who cares about anything else.  The Moon Palace had the best food, and lots of variety.
Even with the variety, I was drawn to the simplicity of the fried tortilla chips, fresh Mexican sauce and creamy guacamole.  I had this at every meal!  The Mexican sauce was pico de gaillo with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime.  I think I got my daily dose of veggies just from this.
The chefs at Moon Palace were kind enough to share a couple of dessert recipes with me.  I am excited to share these in upcoming posts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

biscuit pudding

It's so nice to have my parents back home after their five weeks away in India.  Q was lost without them and couldn't wait for their return.  We wanted to make them something to welcome them back home.  One of my dad's favourite desserts is biscuit pudding and my aunt happily shared the recipe.  It's the simplest thing to put together and is a comforting dessert.  The Maria biscuits absorb the sweet milk making it almost cakey in texture.  Kinda sorta like tiramisu, without the coffee.  The layers of cookies, whipping cream and nuts is comfort in a bowl. 

Biscuit Pudding

1 package Maria biscuits
1 can of evaporated milk
1/2 can of condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp icing sugar
1 cup sliced almonds (or any chopped nuts)
grated chocolate

Mix the evaporated milk and the condensed milk together.
Whip the cream and the sugar to make whipping cream.
Line an 8" square dish with a layer of biscuits.  Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the cookies.  Cover the layer with 1/3 of the whipping cream and 1/3 of the nuts.  Grate some chocolate over the nuts.  Repeat for another 2 layers.  Refrigerate over night.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

maple cinnamon granola

On the search for a healthy snack, I thought granola would be the perfect thing.  With all the nuts and seeds, I figured it would be yummy to munch on, while providing energy for us and the little guy throughout the day.  When searching for recipes, however, I realized that many were full of large quantities of oil.

I was excited when I found Ellie Krieger's Nutty Granola recipe because it had no oil!  Just some good old maple syrup and some cinnamon were used to create this delicious snack.  I added some seeds and coconut to the mix and was able to put it in the oven in minutes.  Q loved the granola and happily picked through it naming all the nuts and seeds.  A fun protein-packed snack for a toddler (and his mamma).

Maple Cinnamon Granola
Adapted from Ellie Krieger

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, raisins with the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Spread the mixture onto a greased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

taiyo sushi

My cousin had been raving about a sushi place near her house for quite some time. Located in the NW at the Creekside mall, Taiyo Sushi is a favourite place for dinner for her and her family.  

We finally made it over there last month for a quick bite.  We got there at 12:15pm on a Saturday and the place was already full of people having lunch just 15 minutes after opening.  Definitely a good sign.

We started with the ebi gyoza, little dumplings that were filled with shrimp and vegetables.  These were delicious!  Served with soy, this was a great way to begin our meal.
We ordered the Taiyo Combo so that we could sample a few of what the restaurant had to offer.  The platter came with salmon, tuna, prawns sushi as well as some sashimi.  The rolls included california, cucumber as well as their house roll. 
The presentation was great but the taste was even better.  The sushi was fresh and delicious and the salmon and tuna sashimi was melt in your mouth amazing.  I thought for sure there would be leftovers but we managed to polish off all the food!
Overall the service was great and the sushi was high quality.  Will definitely be back!

Taiyo on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year!

Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2012.  May your year be filled with dear friends, special time with family and tummies full of amazing food!

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