Amuse Bouches

I Tried It…

…So You Don’t Have To

Lays Poppables Honey BBQ

Have you ever had Lay’s Poppables?  As a light, salty-crunchy type snack, they’re quite enjoyable.  They’re made from extruded potato flakes (much like potato chips that come in a can) that have been shaped into a cage-like shape.  They’re light, crispy, and salty, with a mild but pleasant flavour. They’re a couple of steps away from being an actual potato, so they don’t taste like a potato chip, but sometimes that’s what you’re looking for.  I have tried the Poppables Sea Salt flavour before and enjoyed them, so when I saw the new Honey BBQ flavour, I had to give them a try. Continue reading

Mongolian Hot Pot: Hot or Not?

Wednesday night I had a Girls’ Night with two very good friends (S and H), and I had the privilege of introducing them to the joys of Mongolian Hot Pot.  I had been one time previously and have been dreaming about going back ever since. For those of you who have never had Hot Pot, I will explain the experience to you.  And it is an experience—this is not just dinner, it is a complete food experience for the senses. The smells, the sights, the flavours—everything will tweak your brain’s happiness receptors.  This is not a meal for when you’re on a tight schedule. Plan for at least two hours of leisurely eating, and plan on leaving full. Continue reading

The Route to Success

A Recipe as a Road Map

I always think of a recipe as a road map.  It is your starting point, Point A let’s say, and the actual dish is your destination, Point B.  Like any road map, there are many different ways to get from Point A to Point B.  It’s just a guideline that you can follow exactly, or you can make a detour and take the scenic route and still end up with dinner on your plate. The point is, you can change the recipe to suit your needs. It’s not carved in stone.  No one is going to pop up in your kitchen and rap your knuckles because you don’t like peas so you left them out. (Psst: I really hate peas.  I usually substitute green beans or edamame when a recipe calls for them.)  When reading other cooking blogs or browsing recipes on an app, I often read comments from people along the lines of “My husband hates onions.  Can I leave them out?” Well, of course you can!  Unless the recipe is for something like French Onion Soup, in which case I would suggest you just take a pass on that one. Continue reading

Comfort Me, Food!

My week hasn’t gone the way I planned, as clearly evidenced by my Wednesday blog post ending up getting done on Friday night.  I had a lot of work to do, meetings scheduled, and meals to cook. And none of it got done according to plan, because I, your faithful blogger, am experiencing technical difficulties.  My hardware is not working right. I am not even writing the same blog post I had originally planned, but I will get back to it at a later date. All because I am stuck in bed. The worst part of having my schedule messed up was my son missing his chosen birthday dinner because of me. (Although if you check this week’s Meal Plan, you will see I am hopeful of a second, more successful attempt, on Thursday.) Continue reading

Playing by My Rules

 

Everyone has rules they live by.  Rules for parenting, rules for relationships, their own rules for playing games. (C’mon, people! How many of you collect money if you land on Free Parking in Monopoly?)  I have rules for myself for planning meals, grocery shopping, and for cooking. I’m going to outline some of my hard-and-fast rules here and maybe you’ll find a few you would like to apply in your own life. Continue reading

Why Me? Why Now?

I’m a little food obsessed.  I always have been. It’s not just about the flavours, but also about the textures, the colours, the heat, the sweet, the salty, the creamy, and the crunchy.   The way all these characteristics play with each other is what makes food such an enjoyable experience. I don’t eat to live; I live to eat. I’m not a professional chef.  At best I’m an interested amateur, a home cook with some knowledge and skills. What I am, though, is a planner. I like to know what’s happening, what’s coming up, and what might happen, so I can plan accordingly.  That need to plan is, along with a passion for food, what drew me to writing this blog. Continue reading