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Weekend specials – Second weekend 2019, first real snow :)

Second weekend of 2019 came with first real snow in Toronto.

Snow blanketed the city from Saturday morning to well into the early hours of Sunday.

My initial plan was to go out and look for some flower pots but the biting chill in the air and the eye-watering winds changed my mind.

And it was just as well since I had a few projects to finish while inside: two scarfs that are ready to go to charity to hopefully help someone in need to keep warm this season, as well as starting my new pullover. (I am thinking of making a post sometime next week to showcase the progress of my pullover – if that’s something you think you’re interested in seeing, please leave a comment below!)

I also had plans to spend some time in the kitchen, doing what I enjoy best: cook. Which brings me to the best bit: weekend specials!

Saturday morning for breakfast, I decided to try a recipe that caught my attention: Potato Latkes from jyospassions.

Breakfast in the making: shredding 5 small to medium potatoes, drain well the excess water; season with salt a pinch of smoked paprika and dried dill.

Heat a nonstick pan and with a scooping spoon add the latkes to the pan. I pressed a bit the mixture and arrange the edges.

After the latkes were ready, in the same pan I grilled a few breakfast sausages which made this a more wholesome breakfast.

Shredded potatoes, salt, dill, smoked paprika and a bit of flour
Potato Latkes in the making
Potato Latkes and breakfast sausages

Since Saturday was a day for savory dishes, and so on Sunday we started the day with two kinds of pancakes: Orange oats pancakes – gluten free and double chocolate pancakes-also gluten free 🙂
I was so lucky to discover a very nice blog where I will return to for some more inspirations: giverecipe. 

In this post I will show you the Double chocolate pancakes.

Ingredients needed:

  • two large eggs
  • 1 cups of original almond milk (you can use whatever milk you prefer)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup 1/3 white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder (optional, I used it because I wanted to finish what I had left in the cupboard and the recipe was asking for chocolate chips which I did not have at this time )
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • cocoa syrup ( the original recipe was asking for chocolate genache and I am pretty sure would have been delicious, I just didn’t have what I needed so I made a cocoa syrup instead )
  • raspberries for garnish I would definitely recommend this to add some acidity to go with the rich cocoa 🙂
Double chocolate pancake


Double chocolate pancake

Looking at the snowy white canvas outside the kitchen window and knowing that I had to brave the biting cold come morning, was enough to arouse my craving for some good old-fashioned hot soup. And the winner was Lemon Chicken Soup from Pinchofyum.com. It is rich and hearty and frankly, quite delicious. Just the perfect hot dish for all soup lovers out there.

Lemon chicken soup
Lemon chicken soup

What I used for my soup: three large carrots, two medium parsnip, a quarter of a celery root,two medium 2 zucchini, fresh dill, two chicken breast, juice from one lemon, almond milk ( about a cup and a half ) and half a teaspoon turmeric, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

And of course there has to be another more substantial dish which was my adaptation of a Mediterranean lunch. I had some chicken breast stripes which I grilled in a non-stick pan over medium heat. I seasoned the chicken only with salt and lemon juice. I made a quick homemade tzatziki sauce, with Balkan yogurt, cucumber, fresh dill, salt and a pinch of garlic powder.

Pan roasted chicken stripes, oven roasted wedges with homemade tzatziki sauce


Pan roasted chicken stripes, oven roasted wedges with homemade tzatziki sauce

And if you were wondering if there was enough room left for desert I will let you know there was. Driven by the holidays that we just passed I decided to fall back on my favorite Apple crumble recipe.

Apple crumble
Apple crumble
Apple crumble – a bit messy but delicious

And I cannot end this post without showing you who kept me warm throughout the weekend 🙂

Sherlock , the grey tabby and Steve, the white and orange

Weekend Specials

I don’t know about you, my dear reader, but when I go groceries shopping I pretty much have in mind what I want to cook throughout the week, and I also go for what’s in season. Sometimes I do the groceries shopping by myself and hubby just picks me up when I am ready. Sometimes he likes to come to explore the shelves.  We both love to explore the International aisle for new spices and other goodies.

Anyway, Saturday was one of those times when he decided to come along. We had just reached the pasta section when he asked: “do we have pasta? ”

Me: ” actually we do, but I bought cabbage to make ” Pasta with cabbage” ( a dish we both liked as kids, back home in Romania). So I need  a special kind of pasta.”

Hubby: ” I like this funny shape” train wheel pasta ” and he puts the bag in the buggy ”

Me, quite sceptical: “No way that will go with the cabbage dish.”

He, stubborn: ” I want this one. They are so funny … ”

I took both pasta packages as I was really concerned the one he chose will not turn out right for his lunch.

Now you might ask what’s the reason I told you this pasta story? Well because it turned out pretty gosh darned delicious with the Cabbage and I also ended up stealing some of my Tuna and Veggies Salad, and I just loved it so much as I made twice already 😉

Train wheel pasta with cabbage:

  • 1 green cabbage, chopped.
  • 1/2 a red onion, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil ( optional )
  • grapeseed oil, about 5 tablespoons
  • 3 cups of pasta, boiled as per package instructions ( 2 cups were enough, so I end up stealing some 😉 )

In a big pot heat the oil and add the chopped onion, When translucent,  add the shredded cabbage and mix well. Sauteed the cabbage stirring frequently for about 40 minutes.

While you cook the cabbage, boil the pasta as per the package instructions.

Drain the pasta and wash it in cold water. Add it to the cabbage. Season with salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. Black pepper is a must in this dish.

Pasta w Cabbage 3 A

Tuna Pasta Salad with Veggies:

  • 2 zucchini halved and sliced
  • a handful of grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 small tuna can drain
  • lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • salt

In a large non-stick, skillet heat the oil. Add the zucchini and sautee them until light brown. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and lemon juice. Add the parsley.

Add the veggies to a large salad bowl. Add drained pasta and tuna and stir gently.

Enjoy it.

Tuna Pasta salad 3

 

Tuna Pasta salad 4

 

Becuase it was pretty chilly and wet here in Toronto this weekend I decided to warm up with a Mushroom soup –  Vegan, Creamy, Mushroom Soup. Not as creamy as I wanted because I added a bit too much broth 😉 )

mushrrom soup 2

 

mushrrom soup.jpg

 

And there can be no weekend without a dessert. The winner was:

Raisins Cinnamon Sticky Buns. 

Raisins cinnamon sticky buns

 

 

 

New kitchen toy – new recipes :)

Some weekends I just want to rest and rest and rest…

Most weekends I am in a baking mood and for me, because of less time restraints,  it’s just the best time to try new recipes. Also, this weekend, we also had a new addition in our kitchen: the Ninja Professional 1000 Blender. My daughter’s present for her birthday this year.

We made two smoothies: a fruity one and a green one  banana, peach and mango smoothie  banana, apple, carrot, spinach smoothie. Unfortunately we were too excited about the new toy and too busy tasting the smoothies so none of them had a chance to get their  pictures taken.

The other thing we tried with the new blender was a delicious carrot- butternut squash-ginger soup.

carrot-squash-ginger-cream-soup-2

carrot-squash-ginger-cream-soup

I can’t wait to try more smoothies and creamy soups 🙂