Saturday, 30 July 2016

honey butter & sea salt popcorn

friday nights in our house are typically reserved for family movies and popcorn dates.  although to be fair, we've taken a bit of a hiatus as of late given our busy weekend schedules and opting instead to spend our summer nights beachside and dock jumping.

but last night we reverted back to tradition.
delicious homemade popcorn

i live with 3 of the biggest movie popcorn fanatics in the land.  they would all eat the stuff daily if given free reign.  i on the other hand would rather drown myself in a box of glosette raisins or peanut m&ms, movie theatre popcorn just isn't my jam.

however, my homemade popcorn creations are another story....
now these are popcorns i can gladly stand behind and eat by the truckload.

in order to mark our first movie night in awhile, i opted to add a new flavour to the popcorn rotation, honey butter & sea salt.  sweet & salty it made for the perfect accompaniment a family favourite zootopia.

cheers to popcorn & long weekends. xo.

honey butter & sea salt popcorn

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

use an air popper to pop the popcorn.  set aside.
meanwhile in small bowl combine the melted butter, honey and salt.
drizzle over popcorn tossing to coat.  serve.

Monday, 18 July 2016

cilantro & honey-lime salmon w/ strawberry-jalapeno salsa

yesterday in the midst of a huge thunderstorm i sent my favourite {albeit only} husband out to bbq salmon for sunday super.  no amount of rain, lightening or hail was going to stop him, or dinner from being served.  after all it is still my birthday week/month.

dinner consisted of fresh salmon marinated in a cilantro & honey-lime bath of deliciousness.  topped with a strawberry-jalapeño salsa.  
all the pretty colors and all the great flavours for the sunday win.

cilantro & honey-lime salmon w/ strawberry-jalapeno salsa

1 lb salmon filet
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

strawberry-jalapeno salsa
1lb strawberries, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1/3 cup red onion, diced
juice of lime
salt & pepper to taste

in small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, honey, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper.  place fish in large resealable plastic bag and add the olive oil mixture.  seal and turn to coat.  refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
meanwhile to make the salsa:  combine all the ingredients and mix well.
preheat grill to high heat.  turn down to medium and place salmon skin side down on the grill.  grill for 6 to 8 minutes to medium doneness, turn and grill on other side to internal temperature 145F.  top fish with salsa and serve.

    Friday, 15 July 2016

    Trolley 5 | Restaurant & Brewery

    yesterday i turned 34 which means i'm now practically middle aged.  i'm also terrified/horrified/anxious of the middle aged territory i seem to be approaching, but i will work to embrace it and in the mean time start bathing in moisturiser to slow down the process.

    however, with a new year, comes celebrations and if yesterdays festivities were any indication of the year ahead, i'm in for a great one.  i'm also refusing to stop celebrating my birthday till at least monday. #seemsreasonable

    yesterday brought family lunch dates, patio beers, dinner with friends and an amazing concert from zac brown band w/ mr. handsome.

    for dinner we decided on trying out trolley 5, a new restaurant and brewery that just opened up on 17th ave.  named after the  no. 5 trolley that used to run through the beltline neighbourhood back in the 1920's this place focuses on bringing people together over great food and craft beers.
    when we arrived, the owner was kind enough to send over a round of cowboy crushers for my birthday, and we were treated with great service and delicious food as the afternoon and early evening went on.
    inside there is even a track that rotates growlers from the lower level throughout the main floor.  so cool.  
    here's what we dined on.  this place should be on your must try short list.  and don't forget to get a brewery tour too!

    big tuna poke |  sashimi grade albacore tuna, sweet soy, baby cucumber, sweet peppers, cusabi aioli, tortilla chips

    street tacos |  three tortillas, grilled white fish, slaw, pineapple corn salsa, avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, black chili, hot sauce

    west coast cajun salmon |  cajun spiced and grilled, quinoa, citrus riesling crema, braised poblano peppers, chin pineapple, mustard seed caviar, micro greens

    derailed beef dip |  brined in derailed pale ale, gruyere cheese, braised peppers and onions, grated horseradish, mayo, pan jus, baguette

    heritage farms pulled pork sandwich |  smoked pork, carolina bbq sauce, memphis slaw, texas toast

    alberta steak sandwich |  alberta platinum sirloin, smoked onions, texas toast

    and with full bellies and quenched thirst it was off to ZBB.  cheers to birthdays and middle-agedness.  xo.

    Wednesday, 13 July 2016

    Basa Fish Tacos w/ Red Cabbage Slaw

    this summer i promised the kids that we would have a weekly cooking class.  we would tackle things like the basics, muffins, different methods for cooking eggs, they mostly requested cookies, cakes, and pies though. #kids

    i decided that for our first lesson we would tackle one of our favourite things to eat.  fish tacos!
    we learn, we devour, it's a win-win. plus it's tuesday and on tuesdays you eat tacos.

    they did amazing.
     we learned all about the importance of flavouring fish with salty, sweet and smoky components.
    we learned about creating texture with a dish by incorporating a healthy red cabbage slaw with a little bit of hit from sriracha, a little bit of sweet from some honey, and a whole lot of thick creamy greek yogurt.

    lesson 1 - huge success.
    lesson 2 - will likely be cookies.


    basa fish tacos w/ red cabbage slaw

    1 lb basa filets, fresh
    1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cumin

    8 flour tortillas

    1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
    2 scallions, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (i used krema 11%)
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1/2 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon sriracha
    salt to taste

    avocado, lime wedges, cilantro & sriracha  for serving

    preheat oven to 450F.
    in small bowl mix together paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt & cumin.
    sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish.
    bake for 9-13 minutes, until desired doneness.  fish will be opaque and flake easily.
    meanwhile to make slaw:  mix together yogurt, lime juice, honey, sriracha & salt till combined.  set aside.
    in medium bowl combine cabbage and scallions and toss together with the dressing.

    to assemble:  place fish on each of the tortillas, top with slaw mixture and finish with sliced avocado and cilantro.
    serve with lime wedge and extra sriracha if desired.

    serves: 4

    Thursday, 7 July 2016

    Las Vegas Weekend | July 2016

    if you're a canadian reader i hope you had a wonderful canada day long weekend.  if you're an american reader thanks for your hospitality last weekend.
       mr. handsome and i brought our canadian t-shirts as we jumped on board a plane to u.s. soil and headed down to vegas to eat, drink, and see garth brooks.

    having frequented vegas multiple times, we always try and do something new, and eat at places we've never been to, and this time was no different.  we stayed at the paris, rented a car and drove to the hoover dam and around boulder city (because diners, drive-ins & dives highlighted a must visit cafe) we ate amazing food, soaked up 40+ sunny skies, and of course saw mr. garth brooks himself, which always makes me smile.

    here is a look at what we saw, ate, drank, and conquered. cheers. xo.

    our first stop after we landed was to grab some brews and burgers from Gordon Ramsey's BurGR.  trust me when i tell you it is everything everyone tells you it will be.  and for reference i'd like to request six sides of the parmesan truffle fries for my last meal.  simply amazing.


    hell's kitchen burger |  asadero cheese, roasted jalapeños, avocado, oven roasted tomatoes, jalapeño pesto aioli
    truffle parmesan fries |  hand cut fries, truffle parmesan, truffle salt, truffle aioli

    dinner brought us to sushi roku in caesars palace.  sure we were still full from lunch but we powered through like the true champions we are.

     edamame |  okinawa sea salt

    tuna tartare |  yuzu guacamole & tamari soy truffle

    crunchy spicy tuna roll |  avocado
    tuna jalapeño roll |  spicy tuna topped with tuna sashimi & yuzu olive oil
    tuna tataki sashimi & salmon sashimi

    happy canada day!!
    the next morning we got up early, picked up our rental car and headed out to visit the hoover dam.  
    i actually (embarrassingly) didn't really know much about this site prior to our trip.  it truly is a testimony to the country's ability to construct a world-renowned structure in the midst of the depression.
    the structure itself is 726.4 feet from the foundation rock to the roadway on the crest of the dam.  the towers and ornaments on the parapet rise 40 feet above the crest.  weighing in at more the 6,600,000 tons and using more than 5,000,000 barrels of cement it's amazing to think it only took 5 years to build during the depression with harsh and barren land.  it's stands today as a national historic landmark and as one of america's seven modern engineered civil wonders.

    following our tour, we decided to stop in boulder city, which was constructed to house government officials and contractor employees of the dam.
    today it houses cute antique markets and the world-famous coffee cup cafe, which was featured on my favourite food network show; diners, drive-ins and dives.
    also it didn't disappoint and would you believe that all the food was only $18.
    officially checked off another restaurant off my triple-d bucket list.  thanks nevada!

    cali omlette |  spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, avocado, pepper jack cheese.
    served w/ toast & fruit bowl

    pork chili verde omelette |  tender pork, famous green chili sauce, cheddar cheese.
    served w/ hash browns & toast

    being stuffed from brunch we headed back towards the strip to do a little shopping.  i bought running gear, seems fitting since i'm eating my way through the state at this point.

    next up dinner.
    i chose beauty & essex in the cosmopolitan.  it's also safe to say this was my favourite meal of our entire vacation and not just because i got to sit beside the owner/chef chris santos (from chopped)  #bucketlistpart2

    beauty and essex is really unique in that instead of walking into a restaurant you instead walk into a pawn shop, go through a secret door and then you're in the restaurant. 
    #thisconfusedmeatfirst #newbie

    yellowtail sashimi |  pickled jalapeno, barrel-aged fuji apple ponzu

    orange kissed salmon ceviche |  jalapeno, mango, crispy corn tortilla

    jewels on toast |  avocado, lemon, espelette

    kale & apple salad |  apple cider vinaigrette, pancetta, candied pecans, shaved goat cheese

    paprika spiced salmon |  sriracha-curry cauliflower, lemon yogurt, chive oil

    elote style scallops |  charred corn salad, chipotle, lime, cilantro

    broccolini |  garlic, soy, chili

    this meal was demolished. it was incredible.  and if you are in vegas, new york or los angeles you should make all efforts to go.  seriously. go.  book a flight now.

    the next morning i woke up bright and early and went for a great run down the strip while mr. handsome returned the car from yesterday.
    fun fact.  in vegas only runners are up at 6am because it's too hot to run outside otherwise.
    fun fact #2.  aside from runners, people struggling to find their way home after partying for what i can only imagine is 24 hours are also up and make for great people watching.

    now that the run is out of the way.  we decided to make the 10km round trip walk to visit the famous 'las vegas sign'
    i'm not going to lie it was hot, like really hot, i think more so because i had just finished a run and was drinking hot tea in 40+ degrees.  my own fault.

    following our walk to and from the vegas sign, we decided to grab some lunch because i was starving.  surprise, surprise.
    beer park, located in the paris sounded perfect.  outside patio with views of the bellagio fountains, lots of beers on tap, burgers and fries, and adult sized board games {to which i won at jenga, i'm also still awaiting my prize, ahem mr. handsome.}   perfection.  this girl is happy.

    ahi tuna burger |  seared rare, ginger wasabi mayo, asian slaw, fresh cilantro
    gilroy garlic fries |  fresh chopped garlic, parmesan, parsley, black pepper baconnaise

    beer park cheeseburger |  american cheese, smoked onions, black pepper baconnaise, shredded lettuce, tomato

    brunch in the books.
    now to dinner.
    then garth.  ahhhhh

    dinner tonight was mr. handsome's pick.
    harvest by roy ellamar in the bellaigo.  this restaurant focuses on farm to table dining, sustainable & seasonal, and also offers the unique feature of ordering small dishes of appetizers and desserts off of a snack wagon. 
    who doesn't love a snackwagon?
    also how many times are we going to eat truffle fries this vacation?

    snackwagon appetizer | hawaiian poke of the day |  tuna, bourbon soy, furikake, bamboo rice

    summer harvest salad |  blue lizard farms, nv, tomato, mozzarella, baby greens

    sashimi of the day |  tuna, bourbon aged soy, micro wasabi, seaweed salad

    filet mignon |  8oz grass fed angus

    fisherman's stew |  assorted fish & shellfish, tomato saffron broth

    truffle fries |  truffle dust, truffle mayo

    with a belly full of seafood & more fries, it was time to make our way to the new t-mobile arena to see the incomparable mr. garth brooks & ms. trisha yearwood.
    night complete.

    after an amazing concert that lasted a solid 4 hours and firework display  it was time to get one last good nights rest in before heading home tomorrow.  luckily our flight home was at 9pm so we still had an entire day in vegas to lounge poolside, eat foutainside, and take in the last of the blazing summer heat.

    but first we brunch at our favourite spot.  mon ami gabi.  french cuisine while we watch the dancing fountains across the way.  perfect sunday.

    smoked salmon eggs benedict |  chive hollandaise sauce  |  served w/ pomme frites

    spinach & goat cheese omelette |  served with blistered tomatoes, green beans, rustic bread

    poolside one last time.  thanks vegas!

    hello calgary.

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