Snap, Crackle, Yum!

Next week, I’ll be munching with my staff on potluck goodies for our holiday office potluck lunch and I can’t think of a single thing to make. You’ve probably been there too. Then it “popped” in my head, Rice Krispies squares. Their simple and easy, and oh so good! This time of year you can buy Rice Krispies that come in green and red, to get more into the holiday spirit. All you do is warm up a bag of marshmallows in the microwave, mix with the rice krispies, put it in a pan, and cut into squares. It’s simple, and simply delicious.

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JO’s 15 Minute Meals Save the Day

By far the last thing you want to do when you get home from a long day at work or school, is start cooking for the next hour or so. That’s where Jamie Oliver comes in with a series of videos on how to make a good meal, in under 15mins. Check out the video for your next meal, or feel free to post one that you’ve tired recently, and by all means leave any hints or time saving tricks you used to get that food from your pantry to your plate in no time flat.

Sunday Night Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter CookiesThe best thing on a Sunday night is spending time with family, watching a movie and eating treats. While watching one of my favorite movies this evening, all I can think about is eating some delicious peanut butter cookies. Like most things, when you go to make or bake something your always missing an ingredient in the cupboard. That’s why I like peanut butter cookies, you always have peanut butter on hand to whip up a batch of tasty goodness.

One of the best recipes I found is on  FoodNetwork.com, I’ve posted the ingredients and directions below for their Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in peanut butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and blend in. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and crisscross mark them with a floured fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until cookies just start to colour around the edges. Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Cold Weeks, Warm Treats

Warm Treat FavoritesThis morning I woke up to a white blanket over everything I saw outside, it was magical. As the cool days start to come in, I start to think of my favorite warm treats and food to get me going in morning, and for late night snack. I’ve listed some of my favorites. What’s yours?

  • Porridge – It’s hearty, filling and good for you.
  • Hemp Waffles – These guys are oh so good in the morning with a drizzle of honey
  • Cinnamon Rolls – Good anytime of the day
  • Hot Chocolate – Best served with little marshmallows
  • Apple Crumble – Always tastes best with vanilla ice cream or cold milk
  • Hot Apple Cider – Locally grown and made is the only way to go

The Best in the West

A couple months ago I went back to my old stomping grounds, British Columbia. I lived there when I kid and then moved back a couple of years ago. It’s always good to go home, and when your home you have to eat your local favorites you can’t get anywhere else. So if your in the area or planning a visit, here’s the inside local scoop.

First off, is Handi. An Indian restaurant that makes the best butter chicken of your life. A unique atmosphere coupled by one of their delicious dishes, and washed down with a mango lassie, you’re in heaven. Next up is White Spot, one of my favorite places as a kid. When you ordered a kids burger you got it in a pirate ship with fries and a gold coin as the treasure. How cool is that. Now I’m grown up, I go for their burgers; it tastes best with their Triple -O sauce. The best way to wash it down is with one of their unbelievable strawberry milkshakes. Yum! So to end off the best places to eat in BC, I can’t forget to mention Anton’s. This place gives you portions that will have you eating tasty left over for days. My first time there my friend told me to get the Antonio Dill Pesto Pasta, and every time I head back I never get anything different. It’s that good.

So enjoy one, or all. You can’t get any better on the west coast.

Tis the Season for Cheese Platters

Start marking up your calendars folks, Christmas Party Season is upon us! It’s my favorite time of the year, and likely yours. The food that comes out during Christmas parties is some of the best, tastiest, stuff you can’t get all year around. One of my favorites things are the cheese platters. A mixture of cheeses from soft to hard, creamy, crumbly, strong, sweet, all the favors and textures of the rainbow. It’s a simple things to do for a party, it looks great! Try new cheeses you’ve never heard of before. Also, ask the people working in the store for suggestions. It’s always good to put in a favorite but, also try a new unique cheese, it might just become your new favorite. It’s best when you pair it with some kind of fruit and nice crackers or bread. Put it on a nice plate, or marble, wood or even a chalk board. Have fun with it, and dig in!

British Bread Pudding

One of my Dad’s favorite dishes during the winter is bread pudding. A traditional British dish that is both hearty, filling, sweet and delicious. It’s a simple recipe, and tastes best cold with a glass of milk. One of the best recipes I found is on allrecipes.com but, try mixing it up with different dried fruits, and even nuts. This dish is best enjoyed with others, so served some up for the whole family!

Ingredients

6 1/4 cups cubed whole wheat bread

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried mixed fruit

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread and milk, and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Then stir in egg, butter, raisins, mixed fruit, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until golden and firm to touch, about 35 minutes. Leave in baking pan to cool, then cut into squares.

Spinning Plates Food Documentary

I came across this trailer on itunes about a food documentary on three very different restaurants in America, and the lives and food that connects them. I don’t know about you, but just after watch the trailer I want to take a roadtrip to Chicago to try Alinea, and enjoy the art of food.  Then again, some Iowa home cooking at Breitbach’s Country Dining or mexican food in Arizona at La Cocina de Gabby sounds not to shabby. Staddle up partner, I think a food roadtrip is in store!

Eggs Benedict with a Twist

Last year, I ran a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska with Team In Training crew to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After hopping off the plan, I met a fellow TNT runner from the town of brotherly love, named Mike. On the ride to our hotel, we saw a hot dog stand, but this wasn’t any hot dog stand, they were selling reindeer hot dogs. As soon as we chucked our bags in our rooms, we headed straight out for some Alaskan street meat. I’m telling you, if you ever get a chance to eat reindeer meat, (Rudolph cover your ears) try it, it’s amazing. It has a taste like nothing else, it’s peppery and delicious. After try that reindeer dog, I was sold. I went back the next day and had it again. The day before the big run, some of the other runners and I went to Sizzlin’ Café. As luck would have it and I guess it’s pretty common there, reindeer was on the menu. Even better than that, Eggs Benedict with reindeer meat, my now two favorites merge in a breakfast explosion of goodness. So the next time you’re in Alaska, or have plans to head out there. Try the reindeer meat, it’s like nothing else.

Battle of the Bars

Cliff, Lara Bar, VegaBar

This morning I was flipping through an old Runner’s World Magazine and got me thinking, I need to get back into shape. With cold days, come lazy ones. It’s so easy not to go outside for a jog or a bike ride when it’s cold outside but looking at those pictures of runners has inspired me to get back into shape. There’s something about working out and eating healthy, that just makes you good on the inside, and out. The best part about working out and eating healthy are the great healthy treat you indulge in to keep you going. There’s so much variety these days, you can even go online and put in the ingredients you want and they make it, package it, and send it right to your door. How cool is that? So which bar is best? My top 3 picks I’ve found on the market are Cliff, Lara Bar, and Vega Bar. Vega Bar packs a punch with the best ingredients, giving your body the protein it needs to build stronger muscles, the Chocolate Cherry is my favourite. The folks at Vega are a classy bunch, (sidestory) I contacted their marketing people and mentioned I was working on a school project for university, they ended up sent me 3 large boxes of swag, protein powder and bars. What a treat! Now back to the battle of the bars, Lara Bar especially the Coconut Cream Pie is an amazing tasting bar that you feel good eating, and taste good eating it. Lastly Cliff Bar, this just makes you want to go outside and scale a rock climbing wall, your best bet is the Black Cherry Almond. So there’s my picks, but if I’d have to pick one; I’d have to go with the Chocolate Cherry Vega Bar. The company, the brand, and the bar all leave a great taste in my mouth.

What’s the best energy bar you use for your works and why?