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).

Don’t Waste the Stems!

I love broccoli, so much so that my mom had a problem getting me to eat anything but broccoli for a long while when I was a kid (I know…I am weird).  I would eat it plain, with lemon juice or covered in melted cheese (obviously my favourite way). When it comes to cutting broccoli I have been pretty lazy.  Because the stem is my least favourite part, and I wasn’t quite sure how to prep it, I often threw away perfectly edible portions. No more! Check out these instructions on how to properly prep a whole head of broccoli (link).

How to Peel Tomatoes

I don’t think I have ever peeled a tomato before, but my friend Caroline makes a mean salsa that is pretty labour intensive once you start peeling the tomatoes.  Here is a quick and easy way to peel (link).

 

Banana Berry Soft Serve

This is a great healthy summer treat that you can make all year round!  I made this as an afternoon snack for Marc and I are one lazy summer Sunday! Luckily, we always have frozen berries and bananas on hand. As soon as our bananas start to brown I cut them up and store them in a container in the freezer. They are great to bake with once they thaw or you can use them in a smoothie.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup of berries or frozen fruit of your choice.
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • toppings – I love sprinkling unsweetened coconut on top. Or, melt some natural peanut butter or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt – optional

Directions:

Place frozen fruit in a food processor. Add vanilla extract and process until creamy. If you want it creamier you can add 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt or any yogurt you like.

Happy Last Days of Summer!

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