Friday, March 18, 2011

fernie foodie friday

welcome back to fernie foodie friday! it's been a busy week in my kitchen and i'm excited to share some great meals with you.  this weekend we're in canmore to visit dan's cousin rob aka uncle cuz and his beautiful woman lindsay and their twin boys casey and liam.  so, since we left yesterday afternoon, i only prepared three meals and a traveling pantry.  lets get started. monday night coconut yellow curry.
i always get out everything i need before i start cooking, it's just easiest...
i pulled some chicken from the freezer before i left for work.  you're probably wondering why i'm posting pictures of raw chicken.  trust me, there's a reason.  i always use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables.  i think it's a great habit to get into, and i know my vegetarian friends appreciate it.
the other thing i tend to do is prep most of the ingredients ahead of time.  that way i rarely find myself having to 'catch up' with the cooking.  i hate being rushed.  i picked up some fresh produce at the organic market and i feel so good about the quality of it.
are ya feelin' me here?  look at the colour of that squash!  honestly, some people think buying organic is some sort of trend...if that's so than i'm a trendy woman!  sometimes i hesitate because of the price of certain items...and if that's similar to you, let me help you to have the courage to put it in your basket. this is what goes through my mind when i'm buying expensive organic products..."I'M WORTHY OF REAL FOOD!" not to mention, i have a real connection with my food when i'm preparing it, and eating it i value it.  and most would not believe the difference in taste!
my curry is never the same twice. this time it's chicken, ginger, garlic, green onions, yellow curry powder
squash, carrots, red potatoes, cauliflower & kale
at this point dan came home from work.  you can imagine his expression when he saw me photographing a couple of cans of food.  (coconut milk & garbonzo beans to be exact)  it definitely had the feel of 'i knew it...she's really lost it' so i look up, shrug, and say "my blog"  which he doesn't even read anyways.  "give me that" he says reaching for my camera.  and then he did something really nice...
he takes my picture and says "you should have more pictures of yourself on your blog"  maybe he does read it?
add the coconut milk and chick peas and simmer 'till your ready to eat~ at least 20 minutes.  the only thing i usually add to my curry that i didn't have on hand this week is raisins.  that adds a nice surprise of sweetness.  moving on to the naan bread.  i use spelt flour, because it's wholesome and it only needs water and salt.
i don't even measure, just add a dash of salt and enough water to create a dough that's soft but not sticky, knead, roll and fry.
we had leftover rice and salad from lunch so the meal came together nicely.
okay moving right along. on tuesday i had a great day at work. my girl of my two faithful 'authentic mama' followers stopped in to womb to grow and brought me some elk maple breakfast sausage.  shout out hannah! so tuesday night...breakfast for dinner!  buttermilk pancakes, maple infused  strawberries, and the wild game sausage...
same gig new night...get out all the ingredients. especially with buttermilk pancakes, because they have a lot of ingredients.  but it is entirely worth making buttermilk pancakes from scratch...they just melt in your mouth.  if you want my recipe post a comment, because it's precise.
on monday the organic strawberries at overwaitea were on sale for $2.99. that's $3.00 off! so get yourselves over there and pick some up...scrumptious!

cut the fruit up first and add the maple syrup so it has time to infuse.
with buttermilk pancakes you don't want to add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients until your ready to fry 'em up.  and make sure your griddle is pipin' hot!

i boil my sausages and then bake 'em...but honestly i think frying them is probably the most decadent way to go about it. i figure if i bake 'em then i can really smother the butter and syrup on my pancakes;)

and do you see that butter nearby...just use it...ain't no pam, or sunflower oil, or whatever other low fat non-stick oils you use that do pancakes the justice that butter can.  so use butter and use it liberally!

breakfast for dinner is always a big hit in my house...and the sausages really made the meal. so thanks again to hannah and to her man mike who downed the elk...and lastly to the elk~ thank you. 

moving right along...the pantry was starting to look a little bare, and the fridge wasn't much better...since we knew we were going away for the weekend, it was time to start shopping from home.  ya'll do that right?  for the past ten years i've been known to call my mum.  i tell her what i have on hand, and she tells me what meal to make...but i'm noticing that i have started to develop my own gift for the art of...hmmm what to call this from nothing!  i'm always thinking about the next meal, so after breakfast for dinner, i notice leftover spaghetti sauce, and tomato sauce from the pizza i made for lunch on monday.  then i look to the freezer and there's some ground beef, so i pull it, then i look to the pantry and we've got sushi rice.  no, no no, i'm not gonna make some weird sushi rolls! i'm gonna make cabbage rolls!  so after work on wednesday i picked up a head of cabbage, it cost me $1.94 and we can stock up our fridge, freezer and pantry when we get back from the city...maybe we'll even hit up costco while we're there...but a trip to costco is a whole 'nother blog post  isn't it? so before i show you my cabbage rolls you should all know that i have a 'baba' in the family. yup, baba rose.  and her cabbage rolls are to die for!  she uses all the butter, onions, and pork you can handle, and they just melt in your mouth.  she always makes a porkless version for me because well...quite frankly. i don't dine on swine.  in the future i'll document her version of this polish/ukrainian dish, and you'll want to make them every night.  for now here's the african/canadian version;)

as soon as i got home from picking up the boys i put a big pot of water to boil.  this is for blanching the cabbage.

once all the leaves we're separated from the head i got out the rest of the ingredients and put the rice on.  i use sushi rice over other kinds, because it's nice and sticky, and holds together well inside the roll.
frying onions  and garlic is another area where you should never i repeat never substitute the butter!

add the ground beef, and once the rice is done, throw that into the skillet too.  salt and pepper to taste
here is the lucky news for you! i'm going to share a secret that comes from baba rose's mother grandbaba annie.  before you fill your rolls, remove some of the spine of the cabbage leaf.  it makes it more flexible and easier to roll and less chewy when you eat it.  genius!

even the kiddies can help.  here's winston designated as cabbage roll stuffer. now you remember this dish was inspired by using up my leftovers.  i mixed the two containers together and voila!  sauce to cover the cabbage rolls.
there was five rolls that i couldn't fit unto my 9x13 dish, so i decided to freeze them without any sauce.  that will make for a nice lunch some day, and all i'll need to have is a can of tomato soup to bake them in.

so that winds up the meals i made this week.  after dinner i went to the market and picked up supplies to pack our cooler for the road trip.  in a future post i'll be getting into the changes i've been making to track our spending, and keep a household budget.  the trip to canmore and calagry challenges me to find ways to keep the spending limited, convenience store purchases on road trips are an unnecessary way of blowing a ton of cash, so i was determined to bring everything we needed for snacks in our cooler.
 we've got whole wheat tuna wraps (already had the cans of tuna in the pantry) carrots and snap peas. (instead of springing for baby carrots i bought a 5lb bag and cut them up myself) below those is another container of celery and cauliflower (already had those in the fridge) i bought organic clementines and granny smith apples. honey garlic beef jerky, grape juice boxes, gummy bears from the bulk bins, and i popped popcorn with my air popper, and divided it into ziplocs for each of us.  i thought we should have one more type of snack, so the last thing i did before going to bed was make granola bars.  i have been making my own for a couple of months now, and the savings on my snacks  category of my grocery budget is HUGE! this recipe is fantastic, and it it is super easy and fast, which is why i didn't hesitate starting it at 10pm on wednesday night. if you want the recipe post a comment.
same as always...get everything out ahead of time!  it makes life so much easier.
that's rolled oats, flour, ground flax, shredded coconut, wheat germ, brown sugar, raisins, and dried cranberries.
 mix together dry ingredients, make well in the center and add canola oil, honey and a lightly beaten egg.(you'll remember when i gave you my juicer pulp muffins recipe that i said i always substitute the sugar for honey) this recipe has both brown sugar and honey.  i tried to take out the brown sugar and increase the honey, but it made granola instead of granola bars...they just didn't stick together.  so i reduced the brown sugar amount from a packed cup to a loose 1/2 cup and it works. they are still incredibly sweet, so adjust to your own liking...
they bake for about 25 to 30 minutes
 cut 'em while they're still warm
 and that my friends was three days in my off to canmore to see rob and lindsay another amazing mountain mama...her kitchen is as busy as mine, so hopefully next friday i'll share some tricks of the trade outta canmore ab...'till then.

1 comment:

  1. Hi....glad you enjoyed the sausages. I would love your pizza dough and granola bar recipes......looks sooo yummy. Thanx:)