Friday, 12 September 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have a confession.

I was totally writing this other post about how you should make this awesome burger sauce and barbecue some burgers before Winter started to Winter.

Then.  Winter.

Barbecue is OUT.

And comforting, delicious spaghetti and meatballs is IN.

So let's get started.

 
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the onions and the garlic.

 
After the onions are softened and translucent, add the tomato sauce.

 
And the crushed tomatoes.  Give both the cans a quick rinse and add the water from the cans to pot too.

 
Add the parsley.

 
And the basil.

 
Salt.

 
And sugar.  Yep.  Sugar.  It's fairly common in traditional tomato sauces.  It just takes some of the tartness away from the tomatoes.  Don't worry - you'll never know it's there.

 
Let the sauce simmer over low heat.  Michelle recommends about two hours or so.  So you'll need to set aside a little time for the sauce to simmer.  And it'll need a stir every now and then.
 
When the sauce is getting into the last hour of simmering, get the meatballs ready.
 
Now - I did make a little mistake here.  I was only supposed to combine a little bit of the breadcrumbs and the milk - I accidentally threw in all of the breadcrumbs.  Oops.
 
Let just pretend I did this properly.  Combine some of the breadcrumbs with the milk and mix together.  Leave for about 10 minutes.
 
 
 
In a large bowl, combine the beef and the Romano cheese.

 
Add the garlic powder.

 
And the parsley.

 
The egg and the fresh garlic.
 
And the breadcrumb mixture (and the remaining breadcrumbs unless you were like me and messed up.)

 
Combine all together and divide into evenly sized meatballs (I used a cookie scoop).  Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
 
Add to the sauce and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more.
 
Serve on top of the pasta of your choice.  I used plain old un-exciting spaghetti.

 
I'm not even sure how to tell you how perfect this will be for your first Fall meal. 


It's hearty without being overly rich.  The meatballs are tender and flavorful.  The sauce is thick and sticks to the pasta (just the way I LIKE it!).

It sticks to your ribs and warms you up all the way through.  Serve with breadsticks or a piece of garlic bread.

So delicious.  And Fall-like.

Welcome to Fall. 

xoxo - Heather

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sesame Shrimp Stirfry

Once upon a time, three years ago, I wrote a post about a week that was well spent.  I golfed, relaxed, and travelled to Cold Lake to visit my brother and his family.  While I was in Cold Lake, I helped out by cooking food (surprise, surprise - lol) and this is one of the dishes I made for them.

At the time - I had no idea what I wanted to do with this blog - or how I wanted it to be.  And now I feel like I have a more clear picture of how I want to share food with you. 

'Cause I like you.

This has long been one of my favorite early/pre-blog days recipes - and I've thought of it often.

 
In a zippie bag, combine the ground ginger,

 
The cayenne pepper,


 
The garlic,

 
sesame seeds,

 
black pepper,

 
and the shrimp.  Close the baggie and squoosh the shrimp around with the spices and seeds to coat the shrimp as best you can.
 
Then put in the fridge and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.
 
Have a glass of wine while you wait.  Or do some dishes.  Whatever floats your boat.
 
(I drank wine).

 
In a wok, or frying pan, heat the sesame oil then add the red pepper.


Then add the green onions.

 
Cook for a few minutes to soften, then add the teriyaki sauce.

 
Add in the shrimp and green peas and cook for about 4 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque.

 
While the shrimp is cooking, add the cornstarch to the chicken broth. Stir to combine.

 
Add the chicken broth mixture to the wok and cook until the liquid boils and is thickened.  Stir in the salt and serve on rice.
 
I LOVE this stirfry.  It's fast, flavorful, and light.  It's perfect for summer or even in the winter to make it feel like summer.
 
 
I would love at this point to suggest small changes you could make to suit it to your liking - but I can't imagine anything actually needs to be changed!  You could have it on noodles if you want.  I think those super-skinny little egg noodles would be pretty good with this!
 
But it's totally up to you.  I like rice.
 
Anyway - get into the kitchen and enjoy!
 
Have a fantastic weekend!  -Heather

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Saffron Orzo with Shrimp

You should have seen how beautiful our summer sky was on Sunday.  That perfect blue, completely unbroken by clouds of any type.  It was lazy and hot and wonderful.  The whole weekend was the sort of weekend that us Canucks long for all winter.

It was almost TOO hot to make anything at all.

Almost, I said.

In keeping my promise to you for easy stovetop summertime recipes.  Let's do this one next.

And - even though I don't know crap about crap in the healthy food department (clearly) - I think this is pretty darn healthy. 

 
Add the chicken broth to a pot and bring to a boil.

 
Reduce the heat to low and add the saffron.  Stir and cook until the saffron has bloomed.
 
I'm not terribly sure what this technically means.  I THINK I know - but I think it's just shot in the dark.

 
But this is kind of how things were looking after a few minutes of simmering.

 
Kinda beautiful isn't it?


Add the orzo and cook in the broth/saffron mixture according to the package directions.
 
 
When the orzo is finished cooking, drain and add salt,

 
Pepper,

 
Olive Oil,

 
Lemon juice,

 
and the parsley.  Stir to combine.

 
Serve with shrimp (which you tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper, then cooked in a frying pan - two or three minutes on each side).


I REALLY liked this.  It's easy, simple, freshly-flavoured from the olive oil, lemon, and parsley.

I also loved that it took almost no time at all to assemble.  In my little corner of the world - it's a dreadful thing to waste a summer day inside since we have so little time before winter comes back.

So it's perfect for a busy weeknight, or a lazy Sunday, last-minute meal. 

Now - get back out there and soak up the sun!  It's a limited time thing in Canada.

xoxo - the Cane Girl

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Caramelized Green Onion & Udon Noodle Stirfry

It's finally been HOT here in Alberta.  And for lengthy periods of time.  Which is super-cool. 
 
And in celebration of the awesome temperatures we're seeing - I wanted to share some super-easy, really quick, not-a-lot-of-heat-involved dishes.
 
This recipe totally fits the bill and just 5 ingredients turns into a smoky-flavoured stirfry.
 
 
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil and throw in the chopped green onions.  

 
Cook the green onions until browned and add the raw sugar.

 
 Pour in the soy sauce and cook until thick and syrupy.  (Syrupy is a word - in my little corner of the world anyway)


 
Cook the udon noodles according to the package directions and once the soy sauce has thickened, add the noodles to the pan.


Stir the noodles around to coat with the soy sauce syrup and then serve.



I was pleasantly surprised at this quick dish!  It's tangy and smoky flavoured and filling - although not heavy.

 
It's also fairly versatile - so you could throw in some shrimp, chicken, or even some scrambled egg.
 
If you're watching your salt intake, make sure you're using a low-sodium soy sauce.
 
And if you're not a fan of tangy, dark flavoured foods - I would recommend adding more sugar.  You may have to play around a little bit.
 
I really liked that this was so quick and simple.  And the leftovers were pretty darn good too!
 
Summer for us is really starting to kick off - enjoy and have fun with your food!
 
xoxo - Heather