Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 1 Dubronik

We arrived at our apartment at 10:30 pm, it was dark and had just finished raining, but it was warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine after our epic trip. We could see that the Old town of Dubrovnik was right below us, but this is the view that greeted us in the morning.

Al enjoying breakfast on the deck
It was everything we had imagined and exactly as advertised.  There was a small supermarket within a block up the road and we picked up some fresh bread, ham and cheese along with coffee and yogurt.  Breakfast was consumed along with much coffee and we headed down the steep road to the old town.

A lot of this medieval walled city was damaged during the war in 1991 and 1992, but it has been restored and other than some photos posted around and the obvious newness of parts it was hard to tell, and certainly hard to imagine that this was a war zone 20 years ago.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Airport food London, Frankfurt

There is a lot of bad food at airports, but I maintain that you can find good food almost anywhere if you try a little. I have had quite good Texas barbecue in Houston airport and actually very good Mexican food in Los Angeles.  So when we had a couple of hours to lose in Heathrow on Saturday I was on the look out for a bacon sarni (bacon sandwich) This is my hometown and there are a couple of things that miss about England and English bacon is one of them.

We arrived at Heathrow at what was the middle of the night Vancouver time, but lunchtime London time. We found a little place tucked away in terminal 1, that advertised traditional English food and one of the items on their menu was a bacon bap.  A bap is a soft white bun and so this is what I ordered along with a "bucks fizz" (champagne and orange juice) This was the first day of a holiday after all.

The bacon was every bit as good as I remembered and the bap was warm, soft and fresh.  This fortified us for the next leg of our trip, which was Frankfurt.

So what do you eat in Frankfurt? sausages and soft pretzels that's what.


Arrived in Dubrovnik, what a beautiful city.  We have an apartment that overlooks the old town, this was our view for breakfast this morning.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zucchini pasta with turkey meatballs

I love the idea of pasta, and I love the sauces that go with pasta, what I do not love is pasta.  Don't get me wrong if you put a plate of pasta with a nice sauce on it I will happily eat it, I just would not cook it for myself.  Because of this I am always looking for substitutes for the pasta. In the past I have used shredded cabbage quickly cooked and spaghetti squash, but I have been wanting to try zucchini as a substitute.  My husband currently is in Europe waiting for me to join him, so I am on my own for dinner, it was time to experiment.

I am trying to lose that last couple of pounds before leaving for my vacation so a light meal was in order and as I was on my own a one dish meal was also the order of the day.

Turkey meat balls

Feeds 4

1lb of ground turkey
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of chopped mint.
2 tablespoons of fine breadcrumbs.
1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together then form in to balls about the size of small walnuts.  Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Place in a preheated 400 oven for between 15 and 20 minutes until they are just cooked through, you do not want to overcook and dry them out.

I used a 1/4 of these for my dinner for one and will use the remainder this week for dinners and lunch.

Uova al Pomodoro (eggs cooked in tomato sauce)

On Saturday morning I went for a walk with a couple of good friends and after an hour long walk and a leisurely cup of coffee it was time for lunch.  I have been craving eggs recently, I am not sure why, but if I have a craving for a certain food I try to give my body what it wants.  So I made this dish for the two of us, we had it for lunch, but it could easily be for breakfast or even for dinner in my case.

Feeds two for breakfast or lunch one for dinner

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 yellow onion chopped
10 small tomatoes (I used strawberry tomatoes but any small one would do)
2 ribs of celery
1/2 hot chilli pepper
2 eggs

Heat up the olive oil in a non stick frying pan, and the onion and cook until translucent then add the remaining ingredients, except the eggs and some salt and pepper.

Stir and cover for about 5 minutes.  You want the tomatoes to be collapsed and the celery softening.  Taste for seasoning, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed, tomatoes do really love salt and pepper.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chicken and rice

This is a dish that we had in Amazon down in Ecuador last fall, it is simple down home food and I am sure that there are versions of this all over the world.  You could use almost any vegetables and some beans could also have been added for more protein. I used the vegetables that I had on hand, but actually in a pinch you could use frozen mixed vegetables, but then you would have to add them at the end. It is really a one dish meal, and we just had a green salad to complete the meal.

This fed 5 for dinner plus two lunches during the week.

4 whole chicken legs
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cups of rice
5 carrots chopped
5 ribs of celery chopped
1 can of corn
Small bunch of chopped parsley
1 cup of frozen peas

In a large pot place the chicken legs 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery and 1/2 onion roughly chopped. Cover with water and add the bay leaves and salt and pepper.

Simmer for 1/2 an hour and then turn off the heat and leave to sit for 1/2 an hour with the lid on.

The chicken should be falling off the bone, and you have a delicious rich chicken stock.  Remove the chicken and vegetables and simmer the stock until you have 4 cups.  Discard the vegetables and shred the chicken and set aside Refrigerate if you are not going to make the dish right away.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

shredded beef on a bun

This Saturday I had a surprise party for my husband who has just retired. He was taken sailing by a couple friends for the afternoon, and so I could only start cooking after he had gone, so the menu had to be simple and quick.  I did put the beef in the crock pot before he left, but apparently he did not notice that I had put in enough for 20!

This made enough 20 people with sadly no left overs, but it would be easy to shrink down for a more reasonable number.

Beef pot roast (I did one pot roast and 4 large braising steaks)
2 cups of tomato puree
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of coriander
4 garlic cloves sliced
1 lime cut up

2 tablespoons of sirachi sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 cup of tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Place the beef in a crock pot along with the lime.

Combine all the  other ingredients in large jug.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stuffed pork tenderloin nuggets

I struggled with what to name this dish, as stuffed pork tenderloin sounds like a whole tenderloin stuffed, but nuggets does sound like you would buy it at MacDonalds! Anyway since I can not remember what Jamie Oliver called it, that is what I am calling it.  This is another dish from the sleepless night with Jamie and it would make a really good weeknight dinner, but we had it for dinner on a girls weekend in Whistler.

This made enough for 6

2 large pork tenderloins
About 1 cup of goat feta cheese
125 grams prosciutto
2 tablespoon olive oil
About 4 tablespoons of balsamic reduction

Cut the pork tenderloin in to 2 inch slices.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quick and easy jerk style pork tenderloin

The other night I was suffering from insomia, this happens about once a month or so, and when it does, I get up and find something to watch on the tv or utube, or perhaps a season of Downton abbey on the ipad.  Well this evening I started watching 15 minute meals by Jamie Oliver.  I watched many episodes, I really like the way he cooks, we have similar styles, fast and furious and when we are finished the kitchen is a disaster.  In these shows he talks a lot about getting dinner on the table in under 15 minutes, but he does not discuss how long it takes to clean up afterwards.

This recipe comes from that night of Jamie Oliver, he was using some interesting techniques to speed up cooking processes and this sauce was one of them.  The ingredients are based on what I remember and what I had in my fridge. This made enough for 2 of us for dinner and 3 lunches for me.  I am lucky in that I am quite happy to eat the same thing for lunch several days in a row as long as it is something I like.

2 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons of ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 small red chili pepper
handful of mint
handful of cilantro
1 teaspoon of honey
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of vinegar

This sounds like a long list of ingredients but it comes together really quickly.  Cut the pork tenderloin into 1 inch slices.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Eggplant lasagna

Actually this is kind of a cross between lasagna and eggplant Parmesan.  I had two small eggplants that I wanted to use as a side dish to go with my rosemary lemon garlic barbecued chicken and so I came up with this.

Feeds 6 as a side dish, but probably only 3 if this was your main dish.

2 small or 1 large eggplant sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of fresh ricotta cheese
1 jar of canned tomato puree
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated  Parmesan

Brush the eggplant with olive oil and lay the slices on a preheated barbecue or you could grill them in the oven on a roasting tin. Cook on both sides until they are cooked through and are a little charred