A Big Pizza

10 Jun

BigPizza

A friend shared this unique picture with me. This is a pizza from a restaurant in Belgrade, Serbia.

Thank you to Lillian for providing the cool picture.

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KW Greek Festival

8 Jun
Performers from the Greek Festival.

Performers from the Greek Festival.

OPA! The Kitchener-Waterloo Greek Festival is a celebration of Greek food, dance, music and culture. It is a two day event and this year is its 33rd birthday. Food options include roasted lamb, pork souvlaki, gyros, dolmades and moussaka.  There are also tiropitas, spanakopita and an assortment of desserts such as baklava, kataifl, diples, kourabiedes and melomakaraona. There is also face painting, a live band and traditional Greek dancing. Admission is $2 or free for those who bring a non-perishable food item. This year (2013) the festival is being held from June 8 to 9.

Combination plate consisting of pork souvlaki, gyros, dolmades, pita bread and greek salad, $15.

Combination plate consisting of pork souvlaki, tzatziki, gyros, dolmades (hidden behind the tzatziki), pita bread and salad, $15.

Roasted lamb with potatoes, pita bread and salad.

Roasted lamb with potatoes, pita bread and salad, $15.

An array of desserts: diples $2.50, kourabiedes $1, Melomakarona $1 and Baklava $2.50 (clockwise from top).

An array of desserts: diples $2.50, kourabiedes $1, melomakarona $1 and Baklava $2.50 (clockwise from top).

A tray of baklava.

A tray of baklava.

Teppanyaki

27 May
Griddle and chef.

Griddle and chef.

Teppanyaki is a Japanese style of cooking. In restaurants that have teppanyaki, guests are seated in front of a griddle where a chef prepares your meal, which usually consists of a vegetable medley and your choice of seafood, tofu, beef or chicken. The chef also performs various  feats with food and kitchen gadgets including juggling knifes and flambé. Depending on the restaurant, the meal includes tea, soup, salad, rice and dessert. Teppanyaki costs more than a typical restaurant meal but it is a fun treat especially on a special occasion.

Griddle.

Griddle.

Flames and chef.

Flames and chef.

Salad and soup (in the background).

Salad and in the background, a bowl of soup.

Popcorn Maker

20 May
Popcorn maker, ~$20 (CAD).

Popcorn maker, ~$20 (CAD).

After purchasing my popcorn maker a few years ago, I’ve never gone back to the microwave version as there is a distinct tasty difference.  I purchased the machine at Canadian Tire for about $20 and a 1kg bag of kernels at the grocery store costs approximately $3, which lasts quite a while.  The popcorn maker is very simple to use with the popcorn being made in only a few minutes. The popcorn tastes delicious plain but I usually jazz it up with melted butter and then some (actually, a lot) of white cheddar powder. For the cleanup, I simply wipe dry with a clean kitchen towel. If you can afford the space, save the original packaging and keep the machine in there when not using.

Just popped popcorn.

Just-popped popcorn.

HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!!

Cheddar Meatloaf Meatballs

13 May
Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Cheddar meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Sauce*

  • 6 oz can of tomate paste
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

*This sauce is quite similar to homemade ketchup.

1. In a small pot, add all the sauce ingredients. Combine.

2. Place pot on a burner and gently stir until sauce begins to bubble.

3. Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn down to the lowest heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

4. While the sauce simmers, make the cheddar meatloaf meatballs.

Meatloaf formed into meatballs.

Meatloaf with cheddar formed into meatballs.

Meatloaf meatballs (makes approximately 20):

  • 1 lb of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 slice of bread softened with milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of diced cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp each of basil and/or oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all the meatloaf ingredients.

2. Form mixture into one inch diameter balls and place  meatloaf meatballs onto a lined baking sheet. (Alternatively, make into one meatloaf round and adjust baking time appropriately.)

Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

3. Place a scoop of sauce onto each meatball.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at  375º in a preheated oven. Serve while hot.

TIP: Turn any left over meatloaf meatballs into a meatball sub.

This reciped is inspired from Chef Michael’s Kitchen.

Fresh Herbs

6 May
A pot of oregano, $3.29. (The pot itself was $5.99.)

A pot of oregano, $3.29 CAD. (The pot itself was $5.99 CAD.)

A recent trip to Sheridan Nurseries has inspired me to grow my own herbs. Some of the most common herb pots are oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme.  Having fresh herbs literally at an arms length is so convenient. They are also easy to maintain and after a while, more economical than purchasing prepackaged fresh herbs at the grocery store. They also brighten up any room with their soothing green and beautiful aroma.

A pot of basil, $2.99.

A pot of organic basil, $2.99 (CAD).

Chicken Salad Rolls

29 Apr
Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Salad rolls are traditionally served cool and hence ideal for summer time. They are also light, refreshing and healthy.

  • rice paper, about 15 sheets
  • (rice) vermicelli noodles, boiled as instructed and then thoroughly rinsed with cold water, drain well
  • 1lb ground chicken*
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a few tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • one small onion, finely chopped
  • one carrot, cut into match sticks
  • cucumber (same amount as carrots), cut into match sticks
  • juice of half a lime
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves

*Instead of chicken, try grilled shrimp or thinly sliced bbq beef or pork. For a vegetarian style salad roll, visit Frugal Feeding.

Rice paper.

Rice paper.

1. In a bowl, combine carrots, cucumber and lime juice. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. Allow mixture to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

2. In a wok on high heat, add in oil, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are soft, then add in chicken.

3. Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground chicken as much as possible. If chicken appears dry, add a splash of water.

4. When the chicken is almost done, season with honey, ground pepper and soy.

5. Choose a shallow dish with sides that is  large enough to fit the rice paper. (A pie plate works nicely.)

6. Fill dish halfway with hot water.  TIP: have a kettle of just boiled water ready on the side and once the water in the dish begins to cool, top up with more kettle water.

7. Gently place one rice paper sheet into water. The rice paper will soften in a few seconds. Once this is achieved, remove from the water and onto a plate or cutting board.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, carrots and cucumbers.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

8. Add a small handful of vermicelli noodles, a scoop of the ground chicken and a few of the marinated carrots and cucumber. Place the filling a little off center.

9. Tear a few pieces of basil leave and add to the filling.

Rolling the rice rolls.

Rolling the rice rolls.

10. Begin by rolling the portion of the rice paper nearest the filling. Roll about halfway and then fold the sides inward towards the center. Finish rolling. The rice paper is naturally sticky so it will seal itself.

11.  The first salad roll is finished. Repeat steps 7 to 9 to make the remaining rolls.

12. Chill salad rolls in the fridge before serving. Store in an airtight contain so that the rice paper does not dry out.

Assembling the salad rolls is very simple but a little time consuming. This task may be fun for kids.