Monday, May 28, 2012

mucho burrito

We've been wanting to go to Mucho Burrito for a while and this busy Monday was the perfect chance to grab some quick takeout.  It was a long drive home having to smell all that Mexican yumminess.

The favourite of the night was definitely the nachos.  We chose beef to top the nachos and the shredded marinated meat was packed with flavour.  Q couldn't get enough of the chips that were topped with the queso cheese, shredded cheese, the beef and salsa.
We also tried the chicken quesadillas.  Stuffed inside a tortilla were sauteed peppers and onions and cheese.  I was surprised by the bold flavours of the grilled chicken.  Sometimes, the chicken can get lost in a quesadilla but this one really stood out.

We also had the soft fish tacos.  We were given the option of a flour tortilla or a corn tortilla. I was really impressed with the fish which was a pan seared tilapia with a herb crust.  The fish tasted fresh and the guacamole that we added to the taco was nice and creamy.

It's always a good thing when Q just gobbles up his food.  We were thrilled at how he devoured the nachos and the meat and veggies that were topping it.  I can't wait to go back for more!

Mucho Burrito on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 25, 2012

egg boats

Hard to believe my sister is getting married in two weeks! With her and her fiance living in two different countries, it'll be nice for them to finally be together.

Before my sister and her fiance headed out of town for one last adventure before their wedding, we had a little family breakfast as a send off.  We had lots of sweets - pain au chocolat, tres leches cake, chocolate chip cookies.  We also had fresh fruit, turkey bacon, chicken sausages, hashbrowns, samosas...and egg boats!
I was going to do my usual frittata.  Always a hit and super easy, it's one of my go-to breakfasts.  I came across this egg boat though on Pinterest and knew I had to change it up.
This recipe comes from the site Spoon Fork Bacon.  I loved the idea of the eggs baked into the bread with all those veggies.  The result was a very tasty breakfast and something a little different.
Instead of using mini baguettes, we used two long ones to feed the crowd.  I kind of wish I did one more to enjoy for breakfast the next day. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Egg Boats
Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon
1 long baguette
6 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar
2 green onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut a deep “V” through the top of the baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Partially unstuff the baguettes.

Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into the baguette boat and place onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

kofta curry

Hubby came home today after being away for ten days.  Yay! It felt like he was gone for ages and Q and I were really happy to have him home.  I made sure to welcome hubby home with one of his favourite meals - kofta curry.

This recipe is his mom's recipe, kinda sorta.  She has mastered every dish without a recipe so, although I was able to get the ingredients, I had to guess on some of the measurements.
The meal turned out great!  The curry was tasty and flavourful and the meatballs were soft and tender.  Hubby ate his over rice while I ate sopped mine up with delicious roti.  Even Q loved it, licking his fingers and saying "mmmm....".

Kofta Curry

1.5 pounds ground beef
1/2 heaping TB crushed garlic
1/2 heaping TB crushed ginger
1/2 TB ground cumin
1/2 TB ground coriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
handful chopped cilantro

2 TB oil
6 TB crushed tomatoes
3 TB fried onions
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB garlic
1.5 cups water

Mix the ground beef with the spices until incorporated.  Make into small balls.

Add the tomatoes and spices to the oil and cook the spices for a couple of minutes.  Add the water and let it come to a boil.  Carefully place the meatballs into the pan and cook on high for about 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice or with roti.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

cinnamon buns - happy mother's day!

After discovering last month Q's love of cinnamon rolls at the mall, I knew it was something I wanted to try at home.  Q loves being in the kitchen and helping mamma so it was the perfect project for Mother's Day.  I searched for a recipe similar to Cinnabon and discovered this recipe from Joshua Kennon.
There was some resting time required but it was a really simple recipe.  Q helped out with measuring ingredients, rolling out the dough and slathering on the butter.

This recipe made quite a few rolls - 12 large ones and then 12 mini ones from the scrap.  It was so fun watching the rolls rise into each other. 

The best part was the intoxicating smell as these rolls baked.  The smells competed with the gorgeous lilies I received for Mother's Day.  Mmmmm....
While the buns were baking, I whipped up some of the cream cheese frosting I've used on muffins and it went great with the buns!  You just can't beat fresh out of the oven cinnamon buns.
It was an awesome day!  Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there.  Hope your day was as great as mine!
Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from Joshua Kennon
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

Microwave the milk for 45 to 60 seconds. Then, dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Allow the dough to come together with the dough hook of the mixer.

Put the ball of dough into a bowl that is sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for roughly 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. 

Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a 16 x 21" rectangle.  Spread the softened butter on the dough and then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up the dough starting with the longer side and cut into 12 cinnamon rolls (or more smaller rolls, if you prefer). To even out the rectangle, I cut off all the edges and the scraps made an additional 12 mini rolls.

Place the cinnamon rolls in a lightly greased rectangular pan. Let the rolls rise another 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Once your cinnamon rolls have risen, bake them in the preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 18 to 20 minutes.

Eat warm as is or with some delicious cream cheese frosting.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Calgary's newest burger joint is Smashburger.  The restaurant officially opened on May 2nd and I was excited to try out the burgers at a blogger preview the day before.  Tom Ryan, the founder, spent time with us explaining the chain while we enjoyed the menu.

Smashburger gets its name from how the burgers are prepared - smashed on the grill.  Fresh Angus beef meatballs are pressed with a smasher between a buttered grill and wax paper.  According to Tom, this allows the burger to cook up rather than out and locks in the juices.

The menu is quite extensive, featuring both beef burgers, chicken burgers, sides, salads, shakes and hot dogs.

I especially loved the tea bar.  This is perfect for people like hubby or my sister who just don't like carbonated drinks.

The three of us at our table ordered 3 different burgers and sides and decided to share so we could get the full variety.

In regards to the sides, we tried the Smashfries and the Sweet Potato Smashfries, both of which were tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic.  I loved the sweet potato fries the best and found myself munching on these until the very end, even after I was stuffed.

Another great side were the fried pickes.  I have seen these on numerous menus and finally decided to give these a try.  The salty discs of pickles that were breaded and fried were really tasty.  Being a pickle fan, I know Q will really enjoy these!

We also had the veggie frites, sticks of carrots and beans that were flash fried. A great alternative for those avoiding carbs.

The first burger I tried was the Mushroom Swiss.  I think this was one of my favourites.  The patty itself was really moist! The burger was topped with garlic sauteed mushrooms, swiss cheese and mayo and was served on an egg bun.

We also ordered a spinach and goat cheese burger which was originally meant for chicken but we ordered it with beef.  This was a messy one but really good!  It had goat cheese, cucumbers, spinach, tomato, onion and a balsamic vinaigrette and was sandwiched between a multi-grain bun.  The tangy goat cheese was quite prominent, so if you're not a fan, this is not the burger to order.

The chicken burger we tried was the avocado club, minus the bacon.  Creamy avocado in any sandwich is always a hit.  I was surprised by how moist the chicken was!

If you're not a burger fan, Smashburger also has salads.  Tom made sure that we had one at our table and we were able to see how huge they were.

Don't forget to try a milkshake when you're there.  Milkshakes are made with local MacKay's ice cream.  We sampled both the Vanilla and Saskatoon Berry but Vanilla was easily my favourite.  It went great with all those burgers.

Want to try out Smashburger for yourself?  If you're in the Calgary area, leave a comment with your email address or send me a tweet (@fareenjj) by Thursday at midnight and I will make a draw for some gift certificates on Friday.

Smashburger on Urbanspoon
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