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

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Molten Lava Cakes

I can't believe that it's been nearly two months since my last post.  I'm not quite sure what happened!
 
So...  To buy your love and adoration - I've decided something sweet and decadent and wonderful is exactly what I needed to roll out.
 
How about molten lava cakes? 
 
Lava cakes have always confounded me.  I've never really understood the science behind them.  How does the outside get cooked, the inside stay a liquid, and it qualifies as cooked?
 
The truth is..... 
 
Who really gives a crap?  They're delicious.
 
And surprisingly E.A.S.Y.
 
So here's what you're going to need.  I should mention here that I did leave out the espresso powder called for in the original recipe - but only because of my personal preference.
 

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan - over low heat and stirring constantly.  Once it's melted - remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  You don't want the chocolate to be too hot or it will scramble the eggs.

 
While the chocolate and butter are melting, whisk together the eggs (yolks and whole ones),
 

And the icing sugar.

 
I opted to toss in a little splash of vanilla extract.

 
Whisk in the chocolate - until JUST combined.

 
And the tiny little bit of flour.  Again - whisk until JUST combined.

 
Spray ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.  And when I say spray - I mean GENEROUSLY.  Divide the chocolate mixture between the ramekins and bake.  The centers should be soft and puffed up and a toothpick inserted into the outer edge of the cake should come out clean. 
 
Don't overbake!  Otherwise the center will be cooked through - which defeats the purpose.



I'm sorry to say that I didn't take a picture of this after I cut into it.  I was WAY too excited to even consider grabbing the camera.  (I know.)

Gosh these were SO GOOD!  And SO impressive!!! 

After having made them a few times (and still not getting a cut picture!) - I have this to say.

This recipe reduces perfectly.  I've made two cakes, four cakes, and all six cakes - each size works beautifully.  I've served them plain with icing sugar, topped with fruit, and with a caramel sauce.

To be honest - I'm not sure I NEED to keep looking for a lava cake recipe.  This one is so perfect.  Many thanks to Zainab for this recipe.

To all of you out there in the internet-land - this recipe is totally worth shelling out for a set of ramekins.  Even if THIS recipe is all you use them for.

I hope I've successfully slid back into your good books.

With dessert.

And chocolate.

You're welcome (in advance).

xoxo - Heather

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Creamy Italian Chicken

You know how you can just TELL when somethings going to be fantastic?  You just know it in your spacious foodie tummy and all your foodie bones.  Like this Lobster Mac & Cheese and these Shrimp Burgers.

They are regularly requested. 

And when I read the recipes, I was just SURE. 

But this chicken.

Errrrrrrrr - I cringed.  I balked.  I put it off. 

Becaaaause - I have no idea.

Just didn't FEEL right in my foodie tummy.

But, when I was clammering for what to make for Sunday Supper - I thought - why not?

Here's what you'll need.

 
In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken and salad dressing.  Cover and cook.  (Good grief I hate raw meat pictures!)



When the chicken has neared the end of it's cook time, combine in a large bowl, the cream of chicken soup,

 
And the chicken broth,

 
The cream cheese (make sure it's super-soft - I would even recommend sticking it in the microwave to soften it even more),


And then the basil and thyme.  Stir until well combined.

 
When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the salad dressing and shred it.  Toss the salad dressing out.  Return the chicken to the bowl of the slow cooker.

 
Pour the soup mixture over top and stir briefly to combine.  Cover and cook for one more hour.
 
After the hour, serve on top of rice.  I had it the next day as a sandwich. 

 
I was pleasantly surprised.  There's not too much color in there, so you could toss in peas or carrots, or peas AND carrots, or broccoli, or asparagus, or whatever your heart desires.
 
I desired NO vegetables. 
 
It was pretty darn good and is perfect for a cold, rainy afternoon (which we are clearly not having today).  Or you could make a batch for lunches for the week - because it makes A LOT.
 
And to be perfectly honest with you?  I preferred it MORE the next day as a sandwich.  Or you could have it on more rice. 
 
Moral of the story?  Sometimes my iffy foodie tummy is right.
 
xoxo - Heather