Everything You Need to Know About Strawberries

Marc and I love berries, especially on our cereal in the morning. More often than not we bring home some beautiful berries and they don’t even survive the day. I usually freeze them as they start to turn. Check out this great article on how to select, cook and freeze strawberries! (link) P.S. Serious Eats is an excellent website. I dare you to try to read it without drooling!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have posted muffin recipes before, but they all tend to taste “healthy.” That is fine, but I love the idea of not noticing so much.  After many batches of muffins (Marc had no complaints!), I finally came up with this recipe, which I think is pretty darn tasty. They are great for snacks, dessert or even breakfast!

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups old fashioned oats (I used Quick Oats one time and it worked well too)
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 ripe frozen bananas, mashed *
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips last.

Pour the mixture evenly into a greased 12 muffin tin. I find that the paper cups stick to the muffins because there is not oil or butter in the recipe.

Bake for 18 – 20 mins.  You can test if they are done by inserting a toothpick into the centre of a muffin.  If it comes out clean they are ready.

Enjoy!

*I freeze my bananas because the extra water makes for a moister muffin. But, you can use unfrozen bananas without any problems.

Wine Pairing Infographic

A complicated infographic was posted on Reddit a while ago and then “likeALLthekittehs” broke it down and made it easier to read. We don’t follow this verbatim, but we like to think we know what we’re doing. (link)

How to Make Your Grocceries Last Longer


Buzzfeed has a good list of how to make your food last longer, many of which I didn’t know about. Check it out and help your food survive a little longer. Now I gotta go and do #21, Nat’s been bugging me to do it for a few weeks. (link)

Cook-off #2: Grilled Cheese

It took us a little over a year, but we finally had our second cook-off over the weekend!

Each team brought their A-game and created some amazing sandwiches.  You can never go wrong with grilled cheese!

Team 1: Chiara and Jason (The Lovers)

These two took a thematic approach and made the ultimate Canadian grilled cheese sandwich – seriously, it made me proud to be Canadian!

  • Sourdough bread
  • Maple infused butter (homemade)
  • Double smoked bacon, brushed with Canadian maple syrup
  • Canadian white cheddar

And, they had props!  They are usually all about the props…any and every occasion calls for props.  They topped their grilled cheese with handmade Canadian flags and had a Passport Menu too!  One of our voting categories was “visual” and I am certain that they got a perfect score.  My favourite part was the maple infused butter that was spread on the outer layers of the bread.  The whole sandwich was glazed with sweet and buttery goodness!

Team 2: Marc and I (NARC)

Marc and I didn’t really start testing out recipes until last week.  We were trying to think of creative combos and then I remembered reading about the up-rising of bacon jam.  I had never tried it before, but figured that candied bacon sounded pretty amazing.  So, I found a recipe from From Away.  It seemed easy enough, so Marc went to work.  Our first batch was amazing and we shared it with a few friends to get their opinion.  It is undeniable that bacon jam is absolutely delicious – everyone loved it!

  • Sourdough Bread
  • Bacon Jam
  • Bosc Pear (sliced into sticks)
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Double Cream Brie (70% of the cheese portion in each sandwich)
  • Cambozola (30% of the cheese portion in each sandwich)
  • Butter

The only changes we made to the bacon jam was to cut down on the garlic.  We only used one clove in our final batch because we also used roasted garlic on the bread.

Cooking the sandwiches was a bit of a challenge.  The cheese melted so easily that it turned into a gooey mess, but after resting for a minute they were pretty easy to cut and eat.  I am really proud of our sandwich and Marc and I will definitely be making it again…soon.

Team 3: Carly and Adam (CA-RD…they don’t call themselves this, but everyone else had a name…ha)

This team went the gourmet route and used some amazing ingredients.

  • Homemade white bread (they pulled out all the stops)
  • Ice wine onions (so good!)
  • Bacon
  • Aged white cheddar

It was delicious…the ice wine onions were sweet and paired so well with the cheese and bacon.  They even coated the outside of the bread with some cheese. ..mmm…cheese bread.  They were disappointed with their sandwich due to some last minute changes.  They shredded the cheese  instead of slicing it and there wasn’t quite enough feeling.  We all really liked it, but I suppose one grilled cheese rule is “the more filling the better!”

I thought it was really interesting that we all incorporated bacon. I guess it is the ultimate meat ingredient in a grilled cheese.

And the winner is…TEAM 2! Marc and I won and we were super pumped; still are! Who knows what the next cook-off will bring, it is anyone’s game!

Pick the Right Pan!

Marc and I don’t have many options when it comes to pans. Aside from one cast-iron pan we only have non-stick. After reading this post on Yum Sugar about pan selection I think I see a stainless steel pan in our future. We both love caramelized onions! (link).

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