here and there

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beet Rolls

Garden Fresh vegetables

Every week, a new mission is posted on Instagram by Gastropost Calgary. 

This week, the mission is to show fellow Gastroposters a food or meal that has been an important part of one's own culture, heritage or life’s journey — a dish that has helped one understand where one came from and define who one is.

Since it is summer and I had just returned from Saskatoon farm last week with fresh vegetables from their farm, I immediately thought of Beet Rolls that for me defines summer and farm living.

With fresh dill in the garden, along with fresh beet leaves and fresh heavy cream from the morning cream separator, this beet dish was made every summer by my Mom. Yes, a dish so rich, yet so simple but delicious as a side dish!

Heavy Cream with fresh dill and chives

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Salenjaci, Croissants, Bread rolls

For years, I have wanted to do croissants, but after looking at the recipes with all their steps in rolling out the dough with the butter, I read half way through the recipe and then say forget it! 

Until I saw Salenjaci in Cooking with Zoki's blog, I decided to try out the recipe.

I have been following different European blogs which has opened up for me at times ways to prepare products in a different spin.  I particularly like the creative ways bread is shaped and presented!

Most blogs do translate into English, but sometimes do not translate well! 

Usually I can find the specific recipe using google that has been written in English, but this time I could not find Salenjaci, so I followed Zoki's recipe.  The recipe translated well but the number of cups for 1.2 kg of flour varied in different sites so I added flour until I had the right consistency based on the amount of liquid.

Here is my modified version of the recipe


  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 T traditional dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
Soften the yeast in the water and sugar.   Let the mixture proof until there are bubbles on the surface. 
Beat the  eggs and add the lukewarm milk and salt.  Add  proofed yeast mixture to  egg and milk mixture.

Add flour cup by cup to the wet mixture and mix with spoon until you can no longer do this.
Turn dough over on to lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as you go along until the mixture is combined and soft but not sticky. 

Place into a greased bowl and give it a spin so that the top of the dough is greased. Cover with a saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning
Roll out the dough into a rectangle, spread butter on half of the surface, fold over and roll out again. Repeat this 2 more times.

Cut your vertical strips into 3 inches, then horizontal strips of about 6 inches

Cut each block diagonally 

Wrap each piece starting from the widest part and curve the ends to get the croissant look if you wish.

I let the rolls sit until double the size, then brushed them with water and egg wash before baking. 

Bake at a preheated oven of 400 degrees F for 18 minutes. I did turn the oven down after 15 minutes of baking as the rolls were browning too quickly.

Things I have learned from this recipe

The results were lovely, but I would either roll out the dough thicker or make the strips larger to have a bigger roll.

I used very little butter and the results were flaky, more butter would increase the amount of flakiness. 

Since I only baked a quarter of the dough,I am experimenting with keeping the other quarter of the made up rolls in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow.  The other half is frozen to make cinnamon rolls or more Salenjaci.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spicy Lamb Burger

After two weeks of temperatures in the 30th, we are into cooler weather which I love as do our two dogs!

One of the recipes I have tried is a combination of recipes for Arayes. I had found fresh ground lamb in my supermarket and was anxious to try this. I have been doing a burger using minced lamb, feta cheese and fresh mint.  The mint that I had brought from my garden in Regina has grown as vigorously here in Calgary.   I seem to find all the recipes for fresh mint in the winter, so I am determined to use the fresh mint from my garden this year during the summer. Lamb and mint go perfectly together! 

Ground lamb 

  • one package of Ground lamb 
  • I finely chopped tomatoe 
  • 1grated carrot
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chopped mint, the more the better
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala, see below

Garam Masala
This recipe is a guideline from According to my friend in Winnipeg, every Indian cook has her own blend and fresh spices for blending are a must as are one's personal taste!  
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
    • /4 cup cumin seeds
    • 1/3 cup coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
    • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
    • 1 dried red chile
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    Grated carrots and Fresh Mint added taste and color

    The instruction for Arayes, Lebanese stuffed Pita is to use this mixture of ground meat by  spread it very thinly inside an opened pita bread.  This stuffed pita can be  grilled, baked or fried!   However I could not open the purchased Pita Bread without tearing it, so I shaped kebabs from the ground meat mixture to grill!

    Meatball Kebabs

    The pita bread was still used but was wrapped around the Kebab. Since I had made Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese, this was used as a garnish to the wrap. Fresh chopped mint was also added to the  wrap. 

    For these pictures, garden fresh lettuce, fresh Mint from my garden and grated carrots were used.   

    Summer Feast


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chicken Meatballs

A recipe that I have been having great fun with was posted by Just One CookBook called Chicken Meatballs. This dish is called Tofu Hambagu in Japan.  It has tofu mixed into the ground meat and although you can see the tofu in the ground meat, once it's cooked, one does not know there is tofu in the meatballs.  In fact, I am yet to tell my husband that there is tofu in the meatballs. 

  • one package of Ground Chicken
  • Traditional firm Tofu, use half of the package 
  • 1-2 carrot, grated
  • 1-2 chopped green onion 
  • 1-2 Tbsp. of freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for cooking

Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tsp corn starch

In this recipe, I used carrots as I like the looks of carrots in the meatballs or meatloaf.   Nami from Just one cookbook uses bell peppers in her meatballs. 

Nami also wraps a paper towel around the tofu and lets it drain for 15 minutes. A suggestion from a Chinese friend was to freeze the tofu first as freezing seems to release more moisture,  When I had cooked some of the meatballs in the Cast iron pan on my BBQ, there was a lot of liquid which did eventually evaporate.   This also could have been because I had frozen half of the meatball raw.   

The meatballs were served with a teriyaki sauce which is delicious

I made a cold noodle salad to go with the Chicken Meatballs 

I have also mixed Tofu into my breakfast pork Patties, which also are fluffy and delicious.

Love this recipe!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grilled Greek Salad, summer eating

One of my favourite things to do is walk to the Metro News kiosk with our dogs and pick up the daily paper which features a new recipe every day.  But it is even more exciting to try the recipe!

In time for Canada Day weekend, this recipe for Grilled Salad was featured in the weekend paper.

The star of this recipe was to be the Halloumi cheese which we purchased in Crossroads Market, where Nancy at Say Cheese Fromagerie felt we should try it as it was a firm cheese and used for grilling.

The marinade was Olive Oil, Balsamic vinegar, oregano, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.    Since I have fresh oregano in my garden, I sniped this fragrant herb into the marinade bag.

I marinaded the red onion slices, garlic, sliced grape tomatoes, bell peppers, artichoke hearts and the Halloumi Cheese for a couple of hours, overnight was suggested!

The recipe is included in the link above, but really, why stress just add what you have in your refrig and increase the amount for unexpected guests.

Cutting the roman lettuce in half lengthwise, I just tossed the lettuce in a bit of Olive oil.  The recipe suggests you toss the lettuce in the leftover marinade.  I think you are after those lovely char marks on the lettuce so Olive oil worked just fine!  Grill the lettuce about 3 to 4 minutes.

Grilled Roman Lettuce

Grill the vegetables and cheese for 4 to 6 minutes per side. I  used a grilling pan and tossed and grilled the vegetables until charred.

To served, use a large platter and arrange the vegetables and lettuce in an attractive design.  Garnish with olive oil and olives.

I was not impressed with the Halloumi cheese, it was tasteless, rubbery and costly! I would try Feta Cheese next time and even Tofu might work here!  The canned artichoke fall apart and was not impressive.. How I longed for the artichoke I had tasted in Italy, now that would have been impressive!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pancake Stampede Breakfast

It's that time of year that Calgary is buzzing with Folks dressed in Western wear for  Stampede time!  Pancake Breakfasts are being hosted all over the city for the two weeks.

This morning my husband and I went to our Neighborhood Coop Store for their pancake breakfast  A lot of fun for everyone.  Music, line dancers and of course Breakfast with Pancakes and Sausages.

Rainbow the Cowboy Clown

Pancake Breakfast


Line Dancer

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Crawfish: food or pets

My cousin Eleanor blogs about her family and occasionally my emails become food for her blog. The latest was after her niece, Lisa wrote about her cruise around Vancouver and posted a picture of a Squat Lobster.  Lisa wondered if anyone was interested in Lobster Bisque.

At the same time, I had emailed Eleanor the following:

I was thinking of Anastasia this morning as I read a food blog, Just One Cookbook!  This American is in Japan and her kids are fishing for crawfish as apparently they are kept as pets there. I can identify with this as kids we used to play with these things as we chases them in the Wilson River.  They always moved backwards and hid under rocks. I remember Anastasia coming to visit us on the farm. It must have been when Baba & Guido were still living in town.   To our horror, she collected a pail full and cooked them. I don't think anyone ate them. Maybe my Dad did as he was most adventurous.  I remember her talking about them being eaten in Sweden for some festival. Now I wish I had tried them. Another cousin picked the clams in the river. Now that is another story!

Anastasia is Eleanor's sister. Eleanor also featured her in one of her blogs on  her birthday. 

Love the picture of Evelyn!! yes, I only think  of her as Evelyn!!

As a young teen , I too was mesmerized by your sister.. So were a lot of the young men in the small town.    Many heads turned when she walked down the street in her stilettos.  She visited us with what must have been a trunk of clothing that she had mainly sewn, a very Audrey Hepburn look.  The dresses had a full circle skirt with a 
petticoat crinoline slip and
halter tops with a collar.  I also remember an awesome black hat with netting on the brim that must have had at least 12 inches wide brim!!  I was fascinated with her look and style along with her super smile and red hair! I remember her saying to Mom that fashion styles alway cycled back and that she kept some of her favourite pieces to re-wear in the future!  I wonder if she still has any of these dresses or at least the patterns.

The hospital was across from the house if you remember and I remember her baking a layered cake for the staff! I can't remember why?  

Last summer, in Halifax there was one lobster left over from a lobster feast so I made Chowder.  I am not a fan of bisques or blended soup as I like to see what is in the soup.  Since I am not a fan of cream soups either, this chowder was loaded with seafood .