Meat stuffed in meat…bison, veal, lamb…yummy thanks Giada for your stuffed meatloaf

meatloafGiada De Laurentiis has some great recipes, and this is no exception. Okay so it is met stuffed in meat…and quite rich, but great winter comfort food.  And it packs great for lunch!   I did modify it in several ways, some I liked, and some I should have stuck to Giada’s rule book (see the notes on the recipe card).  Stuffing the meatloaf keeps the meat really moist and delicious.  I used lamb, veal, and bison (instead of her veal/beef/pork mix).  I love bison, and it is a great, albeit a bit expensive (where I shop).  I did this sans pork, and found this really yummy smoked bison sausage at the market that was a delicious substitute.  I’m sure with the pork products it is also really great.  This was the first time I’ve used Chestnuts, and I found them good, but with all these flavours going on to be honest its not really clear to me the role it played, although I’m sure the nutty richness did add to the flavor.  I’ll look for another way to use the chestnuts though so I get more experience with them as an ingredient.  Open to suggestions if you have a favourite chestnut recipe!

Click here for the recipe for Giada’s stuffed meatloaf with some Gayle Dishes it notes.

I’m giving this a dish it again! n again.  If you cook it up share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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No cooking required – yummy, healthy and well balanced – a la Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay mixes up a yummy Chinese Chicken Salad with a chipotle twist.  A quick and easy meal, all you have to do is chop it up, toss it up, and then eat it up!  By keeping the salad leftovers in separate containers it made a great lunch and dinner on subsequent days.  I also heated the chicken slightly for an improved texture, but let it cool down enough that it wouldn’t wilt the salad.  I added boiled ramen noodles to the salad tossed in the dressing, which worked well even for the leftovers.  Don’t forget the peanuts and the lime these excellent finishing touches.  If you’d like you could serve these salads in bowls with chopsticks.

Click here for the recipe Chinese Chicken Salad!

I’m giving it a dish it! again n’ again if you dish it up share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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baby steps…reposting again…let’s start with hot chocolate

Mink Chocolates Cafe
863 W Hastings St, Vancouver   V6C 3N9
604.633.2451

 

My blog has been moved to the I.C.U, but I’m going to take baby steps to bring it back to life.  Last week Annie and I headed to The One of a Kind Show  at the Vancouver Convention Center and afterwards stopped for a hot beverage at the Mink Cafe, nearby.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I profess not to like chocolate (it is true I don’t like chocolate), but can in small doses enjoy the very occassional milk chocolate.  What is more I found when it is milk chocolate served hot and “spiked” with ancho peppers, chipotle peppers, and cinnamon, even better.  And at Mink’s you can get any beverage “spiked” with this “Cinnamink™” combo.  Yummy!  For those of you that love rich dark chocolate I’ve heard that is good too, but I can’t report.  So as the weather gets a bit more wintery I’d suggest you give Mink’s a try.  Stay in to warm up or grab and go for a walk along the sea wall. 

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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Just Ok BBQ in Yaletown

DIX Barbecue & Brewery
871 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6Z‎ – (604) 682-2739

 

In Yaletown this ‎Mircobrewery is a part of the Mark James Group of restaurants and you’ll realize it the moment you walk in the door.  The feeling there is very similar to the Yaletown Brewing Co.  Open space, big wooden tables, and rustic/casual décor.  When I went on a Friday afternoon for lunch the place was dead quiet.  But I was craving BBQ and figured if I could find good BBQ near me that’d be awesome.  However, I’m not giving it an awesome, instead I’ll give it a Just Ok (I think that is my first Just Ok in a long time).  I had the beef rib sandwich, which was good, but not great.  The meat was quite good, although a touch too much smokiness (it is a delicate balance perfected by few).  The mayo on the sandwich was the best part, and I don’t think the dill pickle was a good flavor match.  The soup with corn and chicken was only so-so, and the corn was definitely frozen, but I’m actually thinking maybe the soup had been frozen too.  The okra in the soup was flavorless and quite mushy…okra should not be mushy…or rather doesn’t taste good mushy.  I’ll keep looking for my BBQ joint in Vancouver, and I would maybe suggest going here if you have a really big rowdy crowd.

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“Like a Tea Tray in the Sky” – High Tea in Vancouver

Bacchus
845 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1V1 
For Reservations: 604.608.5319

 

A great way to spend a hot summer afternoon or rainy one for that matter is high tea with your girlfriends, and there are several places in Vancouver that serve high tea. Annie and I were planning on going to the one at the Fish House, be we miscalculated the interference the Gay Pride Parade would play in that plan, and after an hour of trying to get there we abandoned our efforts and went to high tea at Bacchus.  Annie had already been, but it was my first time.  I’d say the tea sandwiches were just okay.  My favorites were the egg salad and the smoked salmon, but nothing too notable.  I grew up eating the most delightful tea sandwiches made by my great grandmother and her friends…colored bread, pinwheels, and interesting shapes, so perhaps the bar is too high.  The pastries were good, but the only remarkables were the Devonshire cream and the chocolate éclair.  The Pear Green Tea was dee-liocious!!  And the price point at $29.00 per person makes for a nice afternoon.  The seating at Bacchus is uber comfortable (Trivia: it appears uber isn’t a word, but I hope you understand what I mean).  I could have sat in one of those high back chairs all day!  I’ve had high tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs – it is excellent. 

 

If you have been to Bacchus for high tea share your rating below.  And if you have comments or suggestions on high-tea in general please share!  Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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The way to a man’s heart and a smidgen of mine – My Papa and an early introduction to ginger

Recipe Featured: Rice Paper Tuna Rolls with Mango Ginger Dipping Sauce

tuna rollsMy Papa, my great grandfather on my mother’s side, was a generous and kind man.  By trade he was a Ford Mechanic, and most people who knew him tell me he had a knack for taking apart a car and putting it back together with less pieces than it came with.  He had his own shop which was central in our hometown and right next door my great grandmother, Nana, had a teashop where folks could hang their hat while waiting for their car to be repaired.  But by the time I was born those days were long behind my Papa, and his full time job as far as I could tell was telling me stories.  While perched atop his knee I sipped a Canada Dry Ginger Ale through a straw and figured out what splendid thing I would share with him that would cause him to open the large red glass candy jar next to his chair and offer me a candy.  There were only two occasions in my life when I was allowed to Ginger Ale (or any kind of pop), the first was as told here at my Papa’s house, and the second is when I was deathly ill with stomach flu, the former being my favourite.  Now ginger is not a fresh ingredient I was aware of until much later in life, and to be honest it wasn’t until I was introduced that I even realized ginger was a flavouring of plant origins.  I always thought it was something that those smart folks at Canada Dry created. However, now more enlightened, I think these early memories of ginger influenced it as one of my favourite flavours, and I enjoy it most in its natural form.  And to this day when I get sick the one thing that comforts me most is a glass of Ginger Ale.  There are many recipes for Ginger Ale, but my opinion Canada Dry has got that right, so why mess with a good thing. I’ve decided to come up with my own recipe that uses a bit of ginger in it.  Those moments with my Papa were such loving moments I feel true comfort remembering them.  I’m sure my Papa never had sushi, rice rolls, and I’m not even sure he would have had mango or avocado.  So what I’m sharing here is a truly evolutionary use of ginger for Papa’s little Port Dover girl.  

Click here for the Rice Paper Tuna Rolls with Ginger Mango Dipping Sauce.

Best fish n chips in Calgary?

James Joyce
114 8 Avenue Sw, Calgary, T2P 1B3
403.262.0708

 

So I’ve heard tell this is the best fish and chips in Calgary…but the jury is still out for me on this one, as it is the only james joycefish and chips I’ve had in Calgary.  And sometimes it has been pretty good, but it has also been pretty bad once, and it has never really been phenomenal for me.  There is haddock and halibut – one of them is frozen, one fresh.  I thought it was the Halibut that was fresh, but the stuff I had the other day tasted frozen…so just make sure you ask for what is fresh and make sure you eat that.  The fries are actually pretty yummy, and they’ve got some unhealthy but good appetizers.  I’ve had mixed experience with the service as well, last week was the worst service I’ve had in Calgary (and that means it was probably the worst service I’ve ever had).  Tough breaks for the James Joyce, because it is actually a good place to get together with a bunch of friends or coworkers, so that said I’ll probably go back.  But I’m going to try the Chowder House for fish and chips and see if it is better.

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