I’m back with new stuff

Hi ūüôā¬† It’s been a while since I posted.¬† I was on vacation for the last two weeks.¬† One day we decided to buy a new kitten.¬† So we spent almost 6 hours trying to find a cat we would like.¬† And we finally chose this little kitten that is so adorable.¬† We name him Garfield because of his color and also cause my son likes to watch this movie.

Then we went to visit my parents in Lac-Megantic (small town in Quebec).

The lake is beautiful :

If you want to see more photos click here.

We also visited Omega park in Montebello, near Gatineau.¬† It’s amazing there.¬† The animals are great.¬† We saw wolves, my boyfriend was so happy as it’s his favorite animal besides cats.¬† I still haven’t have the time to upload the photo.¬†¬† After we visited the Montebello Castle.¬† Wow!¬† So impressive!

To see more photo click here.

And we also made a few trips to Ikea.  We changed our bed, duvet cover and my got also a duvet cover (he wanted this one so much that the next day we went back without him to buy him).

I haven’t cook a lot during my vacation.¬† And when I did, I didn’t always took photo.

I made this bacon recipe, so wonderful.¬† But again I didn’t take a photo.¬† You really have to try this.

We also made these Garlic Lemon Potatoes on the bbq.  My boyfriend really loved them.

I made these Vegetable Quesadillas.  So yummy and easy to do.

My son is now at a new daycare.  A big one.  They are 10 in his group.  He was used to go at a familial daycare with only 5 kids but the last months they were only 3.  He really likes this new daycare.

Have a nice weekend ūüôā¬† I’m going to cook wonderful recipes this weekend.¬† I have full of tomatoes and cucumbers to use from my garden.¬† Do you have great recipes to use tomatoes / cucumbers?¬† I have to find different recipes.¬† ūüôā

Green Beans on the BBQ

Since it was really hot and humid, I tried to do most cooking outside on the bbq.  Yesterday we made these asian green beans on the bbq.

Asian Grilled Green Beans
From RecipeZaar

8 servings

  • 1¬†tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1¬†tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1¬†tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2¬†lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1¬†medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced (I used green onion)
  • 6¬†medium fresh mushrooms, quartered (next time I’ll add more)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add the beans, onion and mushrooms; toss to coat.
  2. Place half of the vegetables on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inches square); fold foil around vegetables and seal tightly. Repeat with remaining vegetables.
  3. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 18-22 minutes or until beans are tender, turning packets over once. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

Rice Pilaf almost a Risotto without trouble

Yesterday I made this rice pilaf.¬† I had to add another cup of chicken broth and add a 5 minutes of cooking.¬† But it was perfect after that.¬† With the cheese in it at the end, it’s almost a risotto to me.¬† So creamy and tasty.

No Zee French Rice Pilaf
From RecipeZaar
4 servings

  • 4¬†tablespoons butter
  • 1¬†medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1¬†cup long grain white rice
  • 2¬†cups chicken stock or broth (1 more cup after simmering 10 minutes cause there was no liquid left and the rice was not done yet)
  • salt (for us, no salt was needed)
  • 1/2¬†cup grated cheese like parmesan cheese, but don’t be afraid, gruyere, manchego, all cheese is worthy of worship (I used an italian cheese : Fontal)
  1. In 3 quart pan melt butter and saute onion and garlic until onion is limp.
  2. Add the 1 cup rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes or so, being careful to stir, until grains of rice are lightly browned and look opaque.
  3. Pour in chicken broth, bring to boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender, stirring a few times.
  4. Stir in cheese! Add salt to taste before serving.

Spiced Vegetable Couscous

I bought a big bag of medium couscous at Bonanza.¬† I think it’s 1 kg.¬† Only 9,49 $¬† So I plan on trying more couscous recipes.¬† This is not something I liked a few years ago.¬† But now I’m learning to like it.¬† Yesterday after I tasted this recipe, I was always saying wow after each bite.¬† My son loved it.¬† But on his second bite, he probably ate chili flakes and he said it was spicy.¬† So I’ll do it again without chili flakes just for him ūüôā

Spiced Vegetable Couscous
From RecipeZaar
4 servings

  • 1/2¬†cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2¬†cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2¬†cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1/2¬†cup chopped green onion
  • 2¬†tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2¬†cups chicken stock¬†or vegetable stock¬†or water (I used chicken stock)
  • 2¬†tablespoons chopped parsley (I omitted it)
  • 1¬†teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon chili flakes
  • salt
  • 1¬†cup couscous (I used medium)
  • 1/2¬†cup raisins
  1. Combine chickpeas, carrots, zucchini, onions and olive oil in a pot, add stock, parsley, paprika, chili flakes and salt to taste.
  2. Bring to boil and sprinkle in couscous.
  3. Stir around, add raisins, cover and remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes, uncover and stir again.

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup

This is one yummy side dish.¬† It’s just a little bit sweet.¬† You have to try this.

Brussels Sprouts, Baby Carrots and Pecans in a Maple Sauce
From RecipeZaar
Serving : 4 cups

  • 1 1/2¬†lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, halved¬†(trimmed of ends and outer leaves peeled)
  • 1¬†cup baby carrot, halved¬†(lengthwise)
  • 1¬†cup pecan halves (I used chopped pecans)
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon chili powder
  • 3¬†tablespoons butter
  • 1/4¬†cup maple syrup
  • 2¬†teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon salt (I omitted it)
  1. Place brussels sprouts and carrots in a large saucepan ;cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pecans and chili powder in butter for 2-3 minutes. Drain vegetables;add to pecan mixture. Stir in the maple syrup , vinegar and salt. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.

A few recipes I made lately that are great

On April 1st, my post was about jalapeno poppers.  I made a recipe on Monday.  It was yummy even though there is just 3 ingredients.

Jalapeno Poppers
From RecipeZaar

20 jalapeno halves

  • 10 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 8¬†ounces cream cheese
  • 1¬†lb bacon
  • 20 toothpicks
  1. Halve and seed the jalapenos.
  2. Roast on a hot grill just until skins start to turn dark.
  3. Slice the bacon strips in half.
  4. Fill the jalapeno halves with cream cheese.
  5. Wrap halves with bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes or until bacon is done to your liking.
  7. Serve warm.

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This chicken was so easy to do and great flavor.  But there is just too much liquid.

Simple Italian Baked Chicken
From RecipeZaar

2 servings

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1¬†tablespoon butter
  • 2¬†tablespoons v 8¬†vegetable juice or tomato juice (I used V8)
  • 1/8¬†teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2-3/4¬†cup mozzarella cheese, grated¬†(optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF.
  2. Liberally salt and pepper BOTH sides of the chicken breast halves.
  3. Arrange chicken pieces in a glass baking dish just big enough to hold them without the pieces touching each other or the sides of the dish.
  4. In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, heat butter and V-8 just enough for the butter to melt. (About 20 seconds on high).
  5. Stir in garlic powder, basil and oregano, crushing the dried herbs with your fingers as you add them to release more flavor.
  6. Pour butter-juice-herb mixture over the chicken, turning the chicken as necessary for complete coverage.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  8. If using the mozzarella, sprinkle it evenly over the chicken AFTER removing from the oven.
  9. Tent loosely with foil to melt the cheese and keep warm until serving.

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This recipe is so easy to do.¬† And the taste so good.¬† It’s just a little bit sweet.¬† I made it with trout.¬† What you see on the photo, the 2 trout fillets, I paid $ 2.50 and it was fresh.¬† I jumped on it when I saw the price.¬† And I’ll go back to that place (Bonanza for the ones in Montreal).

Chili Roasted Salmon
From RecipeZaar

4 servings

  • 4¬†(4¬†ounce) salmon fillets¬† (I used trout fillets)
  • salt (I omitted it)
  • 1¬†tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1¬†tablespoon honey
  • 1¬†teaspoon chili powder
  1. Place salmon on lightly greased baking sheet or broiler pan and season with salt.
  2. In small bowl, combine vinegar, honey and chili powder and mix well.
  3. Spread mixture evenly over fish.
  4. Roast at 400¬įF for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork.

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I don’t always succeed when I try to cook rice.¬† I made this basmati rice and it was perfect.¬† Not crunchy, not mushy…¬† And the taste was great.¬† My boyfriend didn’t need soy sauce.

Creole Boiled Rice
From RecipeZaar

4 servings

  • 1¬†quart water
  • 1¬†cup basmati rice or jasmine rice
  • 2 fresh bay leaves¬†or dried bay leaves
  • 1¬†tablespoon kosher salt (I omitted salt)
  • 1¬†tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Bring the water to a boil with the bay leaves. Add the salt.
  2. Add the rice, stir to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. Do not stir again. If the rice is agitated too much, it gets sticky. Give it a good stir when it comes back to a boil, and partially cover.
  3. Cook for about 11 minutes, test it. It should have a bite, but crunch is bad. When it’s tender, drain it, remove the bay leaves, and if desired, place it into a 400 degree oven with the butter patted on top for about 15 minutes; this helps dry the rice out.

Twice-Baked Potatoes 2 Ways

I like trying different ways of twice-baked potatoes and these 2 recipes were a big hit here.

In the first recipe, there is caramelized shallots of top.  Maybe I caramelized them a bit too much but anyway they were so yummy.  I had leftover in the pan.  But 2 minutes later, they were none left.  I ate them all LOL


Twice-Baked Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots
From RecipeZaar

8 servings

  • 4 russet potatoes, cleaned
  • vegetable oil
  • 1¬†cup havarti cheese, coarsely grated (I used part-skim cheddar)
  • 1/2¬†cup sour cream (I used fat-free sour cream)
  • 1/4¬†cup whole milk
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon cayenne
  • 3¬†tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2¬†cups shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1¬†tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (I used fresh chives)
  1. These small potato cups (each one is half a russet potato) are a great choice if you’re short on oven space. The potatoes can be baked and stuffed one day ahead and chilled, then warmed in the oven for 20 minutes while the turkey rests before carving.
  2. Preheat oven to 400¬įF Pierce potatoes in several places with fork, then brush lightly with oil. Place potatoes directly on oven rack and bake until tender when pierced with fork, about 55 minutes. (I always bake my potatoes in the microwave about 12 minutes for 2 potatoes and I flip them at mid-cooking).¬† Cool potatoes slightly.
  3. Cut off thin slice from both short ends of each potato and discard. Cut each potato crosswise in half; stand each half on its small flat end.¬† (I didn’t cut the potato in half.¬† I cut only a thin slice on one side and emptied the potato)¬† Using teaspoon, scoop out cooked potato pulp from each half, leaving 1/3-inch-thick shell and forming potato cup. Place potato cups in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place potato pulp in medium bowl; add cheese, sour cream, milk, and cayenne. Using potato masher or fork, mash until well blended and almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound mashed potato mixture in potato cups.
  4. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender and deep brown, about 12 minutes. Top potato cups with shallots. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350¬įF Bake potato cups until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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These small potatoes or Potato Boats as I said to my son, were a really big hit.  The word Boats made a huge difference for him.  I liked to eat a potato boat.  And the carrots in them are a big plus to the potatoes.

Creamy Carrot Potato Boats
From RecipeZaar

8 servings

  • 4¬†small baking potatoes
  • 1¬†cup cooked sliced carrot
  • 4¬†ounces reduced calorie cream cheese
  • 1-2¬†tablespoon skim milk
  • 1/8¬†teaspoon salt (I omitted it)
  • 1/8¬†teaspoon pepper
  • 2¬†tablespoons chopped green onions
  1. Bake potatoes in a 375*F. oven about 45 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.  (Microwave 12 minutes for 2 potatoes flipping them at mid-cooking)
  2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out each potato half, leaving a thin shell.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine potato pulp, carrots, cream cheese, 1 tbls. of the milk, and salt and pepper. Beat till smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Stir in green onions.
  4. Spoon potato mixture into potato shells. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375*F. for 15-18 minutes, or until heated through.