Sunday, 30 June 2013

Tacos & Tequila @ Anejo.

I'll be honest Anejo Restaurant, located @ #2 2116 - 4th Street SW, has been on my bucket list ever since it opened last year.  Authentic food, a great ambiance, and a tequila menu longer than I am tall, makes this the prime Mexican place in YYC.  The clincher for me however, is that they make guacamole table-side in an traditional lava-rock mortar.  Does it get any fresher?
Side note:  I think I may need to invest in my own lava-rock mortar given my avocado obsession. (hint hint J, my birthday is coming up)

A group of us had been planning a dinner out for the last few weeks and I was so excited when Anejo was offered up as the place to go.  Then the floods happened.  Fourth Street and many of it's residents and businesses suffered greatly as a result.  Water damage to loss of power, you name it, it wasn't pretty.  With doors closed to the public, those same businesses put on rubber boots and face masks, ready to assist in the clean up of their community.  That's what we Calgarians do after all, we are a resilient city.
After a week of being without power, Anejo was finally able to open their doors last night and once again serve up some modern Mexican dishes.   #winning, and just in time.


We've done an excellent job in the last 10 days assisting our fellow neighbours in bringing Calgary back to normalcy.  Equally important is supporting our local small businesses.  So I urge you to go to Anejo, have brunch, lunch, or dinner, some tequila, and leave with a more than happy belly.

our eats:

guacamole |  avocado, serrano, jalapeno, onion, tomato, lime, sea salt, tortilla chips

tacos | (left to right) crispy cod, adobo pork, black bean
filled with: pickled cabbage, cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh jalapeƱo, flour tortillas
salsas |  pico de gallo, salsa verde, salsa picasa

avocado & lime pie

Any takers for round 2?  Call me.  Love JS.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Canada Day: Watermelon "Cookies"

Disclaimer:  These are not cookies.  
I did however breakout my favourite patriotic cookie cutter to make Canada Day shaped fruit.

How are you celebrating the birthday of our great country?   I'm certain mine will include maple syrup.  That's a no brainer.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Orange Ricotta Muffins

Citrus manages to find it way into a lot of my baking/cooking come summertime.  There is something so fresh and vibrant that is found in the zest and juice of an orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit.  That said, it should come as no surprise that my favourite kitchen tool is a zester.  Ahhh, the ease of zesting made easy.  Zest away (trust me, I will!)

These muffins are more dense than your typical muffin thanks to the ricotta.  Moist, dense, and yes, citrus-y wonderful.

Orange Ricotta Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp orange zest, finely grated
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with 12 liners, or spray with Pam, and set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Using a mixer, beat sugar, butter and orange zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in cheese.  Beat in egg and orange juice.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.
Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until muffins become pale golden, approximately 20 minutes.

yields 12 muffins
adapted from my lemon-ricotta muffins

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Home Fries

Do you want to know the secret to good home fries?

Bacon & Bacon Drippings.
There I said it.  Now you know.  You're welcome.

image courtesy:

Home Fries

24 mixed baby potatoes (red, white, blue), unpeeled & quartered
1 medium onion, diced
3 slices of bacon
sea salt & pepper to taste

In large skillet over medium heat cook bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon from pan and roughly chop, reserve drippings in pan.   
Add potatoes to pan and cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring a couple times.  Add in onions and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until potatoes are tender and crispy.  Add chopped bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields 4 servings

Monday, 24 June 2013

Avocado & Pink Grapefruit Salad

Grapefruit + Avocado + Me + Lunch = L-O-V-E

Let's give a shout-out to citrus fruits for bringing out the best in creamy avocados.  The two play off each other wonderfully, making the perfect couple.  Sort of reminiscent of Adam Levine and yours truly........(wishful thinking on my part of course)

In all seriousness this salad is beautiful, simple, and heavenly.  Heed my advice and make it for yourself, nothing will brighten up your Monday like this pretty plate of deliciousness.  Feel free to show your gratitude with Thank You Cards, shoes, wine, or diamonds, I'm really not fussy.

Bon Appetit.  Love JS.

Avocado & Pink Grapefruit Salad

1 small ripe avocado
1 pink grapefruit
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp liquid honey
1/2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

sea salt & pepper to taste

In small dish, mix together lime juice, olive oil, honey.  Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut off top and bottom of grapefruit so it sits steadily on a cutting board, then remove peel and pith in strips from top to bottom.  Slice grapefruit into disk-shaped pieces and arrange on plate.  
Split, pit and peel avocado and slice it lengthwise into 8 pieces.  Add avocado to plate with sliced grapefruit.
Drizzle dressing over top of fruit and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chopped mint.

Serves 1 (as main) or 2 (as a side)
Adapted from Inspired Magazine Summer 2012

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Potato Salad w/ Peas, Mint & Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

image courtesy

I'm certain that potato salad is one of those dishes that you could make everyday during summer and never duplicate a recipe.  Served warm, cold, grilled, sweet, savoury, etc, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  And equally delicious.

For tonights BBQ I decided to take a unconventional approach and pair baby potatoes with peas, mint, and a lemon-yogurt dressing.  

Spring in a bowl!

Sunday BBQs are in full force and nothing makes me happier.  Let the grilling commence.

Happy Sunday!  Love JS

Potato Salad w/ Peas, Mint & Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

2lbs mixed baby potatoes (red, white and blue), cooked, cooled & quartered
350g pkg frozen peas, thawed
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
sea salt & pepper to taste

In small bowl combine yogurt, zest (start with 1/4 tsp, you can adjust seasonings after), lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
In large bowl combine cooked potatoes and onions.  Mix in dressing, tossing to evenly combine.  Gently fold in peas and mint.  Adjust seasonings to liking.  Transfer to serving dish and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Serves 6-8

Flavoured H2O | Strawberry-Mint

I have to admit that I don't drink nearly as much water as I should.

Water is important for a number of reasons:
  1. flushes out toxins
  2. increases energy & relieves fatigue
  3. improves skins complexion
  4. keeps you regular
  5. boosts immune system
  6. reduces the risk of cramps and sprains
A general rule for ensuring you are drinking enough water,  is to consume half your body weight in ounces.  For example a person who weighs 120lbs, needs to drink 60 ounces of water per day.  
Consider this challenge accepted.

Of course plain water is great after a workout, but to ensure that I actually follow through on this plan, I've taken to flavouring my water naturally with fruits and vegetables.  The flavour combinations are endless, but my favourite at the moment is Strawberry-Mint.  Drinking water just got a whole lot easier!

Strawberry-Mint Infused Water

strawberries sliced
mint leaves

In large pitcher combine all of the above ingredients (amounts depending on personal preference) and keep refrigerated. 
drink up!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Summer Breakfast Croissant

Happy Belated 1st Day of Summer.

Given the state of emergency that is currently taking place in my beloved city, I didn't feel it appropriate to blog about food yesterday.  Especially since my family, friends, and neighbours are currently seeking shelter elsewhere as the water continues to seep into their own homes.  There is a long road of rebuilding ahead for all of us, but we are resilient and strong and we'll come together in this difficult time.  #wearecalgary

On a lighter note, breakfast yesterday was summer on a plate.  Strawberries, honey, flaky croissant, and ricotta made for a sweet start to a not so sweet day.  It was delicious for breakfast but could easily transfer to a simple dessert at any BBQ.

Summer awaits!

The only thing better than having this for breakfast 2 days in a row, is knowing that today I'm having waffles @ Cora's, and someone else is doing the dishes...happy weekend.

Honey-Ricotta & Strawberry Croissantwich

1 croissant, split
2 Tbsp ricotta cheese
1-2 tsp honey
1-2 strawberries, sliced thin

Spread ricotta onto bottom half of croissant, drizzle with honey, then top with strawberries.   Top with remaining croissant half.  enjoy. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Prayers for Alberta

As a born and raised Calgarian this is the only place I've ever called "home."  I love this city, this province, this country.  It breaks my heart to watch everyone who has been affected by the floods in southern Alberta.  So many of my family and friends have been forced to evacuate and leave their homes and possessions behind.  We are a province under water.


We are strong.

We will pickup the pieces and rebuild.

Stay safe Alberta.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Vegetarian Dinner Date: The Coup

Foodie Friends Reunite....  
And this time we went vegetarian.  

Any vegetarian or herbivore will tell you that The Coup, located @ 924 17th Ave SW, is the place to go to get some delicious and original Vegetarian cuisine.  The omnivore in me can also attest to the accuracy of that statement.  I've visited The Coup for breakfast a handful of times, but up until now I've never tried the dinner fair.  My lovely dining partner has however gone enough for the both of us, so it was an easy sell when I was thinking up places to go.  She's good like that.

For those that have never been to The Coup, it's a modern-vegetarian restaurant that focuses on serving as much local and organic food as they can.  They make everything from scratch (and with love too, they add), which you can see, and more importantly taste, in their creations.
Delicious food aside,  this place also 'thinks green' and has what's best for the environment in mind.  Everything, from being 100% wind powered to recycling what they can, and composting all raw material.  They even plant 36 trees per month to offset their waste.  Pretty awesome right?  Good food and environmentally conscious.  Double win.

the eats:

warm goat cheese spread |  goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, basil, topped with apricots, served with foccacia

the upstream burger |  roasted garlic & yam, seeds, smoked tofu & cashew patty, fresh dill, red onion,  garlic aioli, sheep feta, organic foccacia.  served with baked rosemary yam fries & miso gravy

 falafel quesadillas |  falafel, hummus, tahini, sundried tomatoes, sheep feta, cabbage, carrots, pickles, banana peppers; grilled in a sprouted tortilla.  served with tzatziki and baked rosemary yam fries

lemon cashew coconut square |  coconut, cashews, lemon zest, agave nectar.   date almond crust

white chocolate cheesecake |  coconut-chai flavoured

Fresh, original, and all-round delicious.  Thanks The Coup.   Also that lemon cashew coconut square just might be my new favourite thing ever.  Who knew eating vegetarian was so delicious.  I think this place might just become a regular spot when I practice "Meatless Mondays" every week.  Too bad, they aren't open on Mondays, looks like Tuesdays it is. 

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