CookBlast

The ultimate search tool for recipies and how to videos because lets be honest, we’d rather watch a video then read. (link)

The War on Salt

Who knew that salt may not be as bad for you as originally thought.  That being said, you shouldn’t be over doing it; take everything in moderation. (link)

Studies that have explored the direct relationship between salt and heart disease have not fared much better. Among them, a 2006 American Journal of Medicine study compared the reported daily sodium intakes of 78 million Americans to their risk of dying from heart disease over the course of 14 years. It found that the more sodium people ate, the less likely they were to die from heart disease. And a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology followed 1,500 older people for five years and found no association between urinary sodium levels and the risk of coronary vascular disease or death. For every study that suggests that salt is unhealthy, another does not.

The Perfect Burger

I make a pretty mean burger but there aren’t too many tips here that I don’t know.  But I figured it was worth sharing.  The more people that know how to make a kick ass burger the better.  Down with frozen patties! (link)

Lemon & Mushroom Arugula Salad

Marc and I love this salad. It is so simple. All you need is arugula, a lemon, olive oil, mushrooms and parmesan cheese.  We have made this salad for many people and it is a light and healthy side for any meal.

Ok, this is our first recipe post. We didn’t choose this salad for any particular reason other than we were just having it for dinner. Be patient, we are only just learning how to record ingredients so this may be a bumpy post. Marc and I eyeball everything when we cook…a little bit of this…a little bit of that. Stopping to measure ingredients before throwing them in a bowl is hard work. So, in short, go with your gut.

This salad is based on 2 large side portions as we tend to make sure at least half of our plates are loaded with salad.

Dressing:

  • 3 tsp lemon juice (we tend to like a strong lemon flavour, so use less if you are not a fan)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • A pinch of kosher or sea salt

Salad:

  • 4 healthy handfuls of arugula (organic preferred)
  • 6-7 white mushrooms; sliced very thin
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish; finely grated or shaved. Baby Parmesan works well too if you want to save a bit of cash.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil and lemon juice. Put aside.

Wash and dry arugula and place in a large bowl. Add the sliced mushrooms and the dressing to taste. The trick is to let the salad sit for a few minutes before serving. The mushrooms absorb the dressing, so much so that they almost taste like they have been cooked. We have had raw mushroom haters tell us this is the first time they have eaten and liked a raw mushroom. Dish out the salad and garnish* with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

No cooking experience is complete without a cocktail.

*Note from Nat: If you know me, you know I live for cheese. It is my favourite food and I snack on it daily – as does Marc. We actually have a tradition (taken from Marc’s childhood) where if one of us is cooking with cheese we have to cut two slivers to eat immediately. Not a bad tradition if you ask me! Anyway, if I say use cheese as a “garnish” it really means completely cover the top of whatever you are eating with cheese. The pictures you see do not really reflect how much cheese Marc and I end up eating. If they were accurate you would probably just think we ate cheese for every meal. So, use your discretion…no judgement!

 

Punchfork

Punchfork makes it easier to find the best new recipes from popular sites by using using conversations on social networks to bring high quality recipes that people are talking about. (link)

We Had the “Lime” of Our Lives

Last weekend Marc and I went to Niagara Falls (my hometown…love it there) for one of my best friend’s engagement party! It was absolutely wonderful…the perfect combination of classy and comfortable, which is just how I would describe the couple…well, that and absolutely hilarious!

The happy couple, Chiara & Jason.

Sadly, we didn’t take too many photographs of the food because we were too busy eating, drinking, dancing, singing (yes, singing) and having a blast. Most of the photographs were actually taken after the food had been attacked and people were well on their way to having to unbutton their pants.  But, let me tell you…the food…ALL the food…was absolutely delicious. The couple has the most amazing sense of humour and a GREAT attention to detail. The theme of the party was based on a “lime” because that magical little fruit literally brought them together approximately 9 years ago. They tell it best, but the short version of the story has Chiara shoving a lime up one side of a random guy’s (Jason) pant leg and down the other at a bar in Ottawa.  I will leave the rest up to your imagination!

These were the loot-bags for the boys.

The drinks consisted of Corona, Bud Light Lime (to go with the lime theme) and homemade red wine and white wine from Peller Estates. Now, on to the food. Everything was a comfort classic and there were literally three rooms full of food. Each item was described on little hand written cards that said who made the dish and why it was a comfort food favourite of the couple. The food ranged from black beans, lasagna, chicken cutlets,  empanadas, Hostess BBQ chips, garlic bread, pork rinds (I tried a pork grind for the first time…I didn’t love it, but I get it) and so much more! A big favourite was Maria’s, Chiara’s mother, dishes.  She may have changed my indifference to black beans and the Arroz con Gandules was a big winner at our table!

Marc only needed one plate.

The desert was absolute perfection! Jason’s mother  made bite-sized chocolate cookies, chocolate cake with handmade flowers and mini-key-lime cupcakes.  I  have never had cake like that in my life. She should stop what she is doing and open up a bakery. Also, let’s not forget Jason’s famous candied pecans. I think I had about 2 handfuls to myself. They get me every time!

These two know how to throw a magical party and the food was so good that I couldn’t resist when offered (Maria forced us…twist our rubber arms) a plate to take home. Thank you Chiara and Jason for sharing this day with Marc and I and THANK YOU to you and your families for putting together such an amazing party full of delicious food, tons of laughs and a little edge with that visit from the police…haha. We wish you a life full of happiness and everything in between!

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