Monthly Archives: May 2016

Carrot Cake, Tamales and Savoury Empanadas

My freezer/pantry clear out has taken a serious turn and I can finally see the bottom of the upstairs freezer. And there are darned few things left in there so I’ve had to be creative.

Even the carrot cake was partially made with a freezer item, the last of a bag of walnuts from Costco. I DID have to buy a can of crushed pineapple though. And, killing two birds with one stone … carrot cake is on my cooking bucket list. I haven’t crossed anything off it in ages. The results were great. I used a recipe I found on Fridgg, even though I had several recipes stored away already on my hard drive. That ‘shiny, new’ tendency strikes again.

Pineapple carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting and a garnish of walnut halves

I made half the recipe and baked 12 large cupcakes with the resulting batter. Perfect for a single person or couple.

The tamales were made with the last of a bag of Maseca brand masa harina and dried corn husks from my storage area. Instead of water I used frozen ham broth from the picnic shoulder ham I boiled a while ago to flavour the tamales. I made a shredded mole chicken filling with poached bone in chicken breasts. The mole paste was a jarred brand, Dona Maria. The filling wasn’t quite as good as the red pulled pork I’ve used in the past but beggars can’t be choosers.

Destined for the freezer and quick meals

Tamales with a bit of mole sauce to drizzle over

Steamed tamales

The savoury Mexican chorizo and potato empanadas were made with home made chorizo and pie crust (Tenderflake lard recipe from the box) from my freezer. I got 2 dozen 5″ diameter empanadas from a bit less than 1 pound of fried chorizo and some limp potatoes from the basement, cubed and pan fried until brown and crispy.

Pan fried potatoes and chorizo filling


All You Can Eat Sushi

As I’ve gotten older my ability to eat vast amounts of sushi has decreased but I try my best. So this past Saturday, I skipped breakfast and lunch and planned on a sushi dinner feast.

I started with a bowl of hot and sour soup followed by a bunch of apps … tempura scallops, shrimp, squid and yam washed down with a pot of tea. And then there were some deep fried dumplings and chicken and beef skewers.

And a plate of crispy chicken wings. No dip is offered with them which is surprising.

A couple of pieces of sashimi – salmon and red snapper. No nigiri as I was cutting back on the rice.

And then there was my favourite salmon pizza. I like the eel pizza too.

The presentation of the Deep Fried Mountain Roll was a disappointment. It was NOT the roll I wanted on reflection. I noticed that they’ve reduced the variety of offerings so that may account for it.

And, since I was stuffed by that point, I had a small scoop of mango ice cream (no pic taken) and left having paid ~$25 CDN plus tip.

Dim sum (March break)

Before March break, I treated myself to a belated birthday meal of dim sum. All my usual favourites and a couple of my nephew’s as he’s been away at school so our regular get-togethers have been eliminated. My nephew usually orders the steamed sweet filled buns but I gave them a pass. I think I only had 9 dishes instead of my usual 10-12 as there are no steamed or baked bbq’d pork buns pictured, for example.

Stuffed green peppers with a black bean sauce. I usually order a plate … it’s my ‘healthy’ green dish.

Taro and mixed meat dumpling … it looks like a fuzzy football when the taro fries up. My nephew loves the bacon wrapped shrimp with mayo dipping sauce. We have to order two plates when we go together, cause he doesn’t like to share. Sometimes, he takes a plate home for his mom.

Beef short ribs and bean curd wrapped steamed rolls

Steamed shrimp rice noodles and garlic squid. Another type of roll in the back but fried. A close-up of the squid … I usually gobble it up piping hot and have been known, on rare occasions, to share but usually it’s all for me.

Steamed sticky rice packages and the fried rolls mentioned earlier.

Nostalgia (Picspam)

I’ve been making some tasty food lately … beef bulgogi, beef and broccoli in black bean sauce, Cinco de Mayo burgers, chicken mapo tofu and chicken mole tamales, jerk pork ribs, pan fried pork chops with pan gravy, walnut brownies, orange curd/whipped cream mousse, espresso panna cotta. I just haven’t had the energy or, frankly, the interest, to post them so … if you’ve got some free time, you can check out some of my past posts and food pics.

I’ve been uploading the pictures to Fridgg. I find the site/archive much more useful than Pinterest.

If you’re curious, check them out here.

PS: I may add the pics to this post in the next week or so … probably.

Pretty Dishes and Food Inspiration

Over the years, my mom’s accumulated a lot of odds and ends of serving and baking dishes and glasses.

China Cabinet with Filet Lace shelf liner. The repeating rose pattern was done from memory by my mom. It’s one of the many hand crafts that my mom was able to do that I never learned, regrettably.

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I’ve cleared out a lot of it since she passed because I just don’t have the room, and charities like Canadian Diabetes can always sell them off. Most recently, I posted pictures of some cranberry dishes that I brought home and then just had to use.

But there are some things …

I don’t remember if I’ve ever used these in my posts. They’re pretty, I guess, but they’re really not to my taste, so I don’t know why I keep holding on to them especially as there aren’t enough for even one complete place setting. I think some have even been thrown away.

Crown Ducal Gainsborough – Charm Pattern

And there a few of these plates as well, which don’t really go with anything else I have.

Nostalgia, I guess.

Maybe I’ll make something soon that will look perfect on them.

April Clear-out

I haven’t done much cooking in April, certainly nothing post-worthy, but I thought I’d share some of the tasty things I made.

Barbecue meal of giant hamburgers and sausages, with mac and cheese and corn side dishes, and a Mexican beer to wash it down.

Burgers (ground beef and pork) and sirloin tip steak, chicken breast basted with Jamaican barbecue sauce and Grill ’em sausages

Baked chicken drumsticks with the jerk bbq sauce, mac and cheese, onion rings and raw broccoli with ranch dressing

Oven baked pork chop and baked potato

Hot Italian sausage and broccoli over pasta

Thin crust pepperoni and mozzarella pizza

I picked up some frozen chicken cutlets and used them in several dishes including a Chicken Alfredo salad and a Mexican chicken and rice wrap with Taco Bell hot sauce.

Breakfast burrito with a pepperoni omelette, home fried potatoes, Mexican rice and avocado

Sushi – fake crab legs and avocado or cream cheese filling. I also made an attempt at a Caterpillar/Dragon roll with a garnish of spicy Mayo with flying fish caviar.

Orange curd and …

an orange loaf cake

Cheddar cheese straws and bars