Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Newfoundland

This was another exciting land for us.....as we love seafood. All of us do. So a trip to Mike Mundell's for some lobster was in order.




We threw some Great Big Sea into the CD player, and had us a lobster boil! Iain LOVES mussels, so we cooked up some mussels and boiled potatoes to go with our lobster

We dined on the back deck.....and to drink? 

Cruelty to animals? I hope not

It was another great night on our World Tour!







Hawaii


Yes! The perfect excuse for a luau in rural Ontario:) We landed on Hawaii in summer, how perfect. We've been so busy, it was nice to have an evening to relax and build a dinner around a tropical theme. But what is a luau without people?! So we invited the country neighbours down.  We briefly talked about a pig roast, but decided against it. Instead, we picked up some pork shoulder, and fired up the smoker, which we probably only use once or twice a year.We ended up with lots of leftovers that found it's way into the freezer for future enjoyment. 


For the rest of the feast we served Coconut Lime Shrimp Skewers, Aloha Sweet Potatoes, Hawaiin Rice Pilaf with fresh fruit and banana bread for dessert. For the banana bread, I used my family recipe, and added  crushed pineapple and shredded coconut.


To drink? We started with Mai Tai's (in the punch bowl my Grandma bought me for Christmas a number of yeas ago, saying that every "housewife" should have one. It was it's first appearance at my table.....Now I agree, everyone should own a punch bowl, something about a bowl of drink is wonderful!) At first, I thought that there was too much....then we ran out and had to make Blue Hawaii's


Hawaiin Rice Pilaf
 The macadamia nuts ($7 worth!) gave it a really great flavour. 
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (I used basmati)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 each diced red & yellow pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup parsley

Melt butter in oven-proof casserole dish with lid. Add rice & garlic, stir to coat. Stir in peppers and broth, cover & bring to a boil. Stir in raisin, nuts and sage. Cover and place in 375 F oven for about 2 minutes. When it is finished, gently stir in pineapple & parsely. Serve and enjoy.

The Aloha Sweet Potaoes
  • 4-5 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Boil potatoes in their jackets until just tende, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then peel and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices. In a large skillet melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and water and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add sweet potatoes. Heat gently until warm, sprinkle with coconut to serve.



Monday, 29 October 2012

Vietnam

Check out what we found at No Frills when the boys and I went shopping for our Vietnam stop:

Yep, the plan is a fish dish, and we were able to find fish from Vietnam.  Fintan pretty much yelled it out at the grocery store....."Mom! This fish came from our country" Yep, we got a couple of looks.

So, for our appetizer, we planned on making spring rolls, already a favorite in the house. But alas, when I pulled out the rice papers they were all broken:( So, we turned the spring rolls into a "De-constructed Spring Roll Salad"

 We drizzled the Nuoc Cham (salty-sour dipping sauce) over the salad.(recipe from whats4eats.com)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Fish sauce 
  • 3 tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Sugar 
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed 
  • 1 Chile pepper, sliced into rounds 
  • 1 tbsp Carrot, shredded 
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolve. Adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice if too sweet, more sugar if too sour and more fish sauce if it needs more salt.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let set for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle

The highlight of the meal was the Ca Kho To, or Vietnamese clay pot with caramel sauce Yes, that says carmel sauce. Yes, on fish. Yes, it was absolutely delicious. Quote from Fintan "Best dish since we started World Wednesday!!"
We don't have a clay pot, we used our camping dutch oven!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Australia

Would you have ever guessed that you could find kangaroo meat in Kingston?! Yep, you can get it at the Pig & Olive.....so of course we had to make the trip to that end of town for a $20 piece of tenderloin...a small piece. But hey, have YOU ever eaten kangaroo??


 Of course, we also had to have some "Shrimp on the barbie"


And practice our Aussie accents:

video


To drink, WolfBlass of course:)


But the highlight? Pavlova! Fun fact: Pavlova was created to honour the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during her visit in the 1920's. Both Australia and New Zealand lay claim to the birthplace of this dessert.....I figure I will support both claims, and make it again when we 'land" in New Zealand.
Note the fingers on the right side of the photo......

Pavlova
6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 Egg whites, room temperature 
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch 
  • 2 tsp Vinegar 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Whipped cream 
  • 3 cups fresh fruit  

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, and use a plate or pie tin to draw a 9-inch circle in the middle of the paper with a pencil. Turn the paper over so the circle is on the bottom.
  2. Add the egg whites and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high until the whites form soft peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar and beat on high for another minute or so until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the cornstarch over the beaten whites. Add the vinegar and vanilla and gently fold them all into the whites with a spatula.
  4. Scoop the meringue into a pile in the circle on the parchment paper and smooth them out with a spatula. Use the spatula to make a gentle depression in the middle of the meringue.
  5. Reduce the oven heat to 250°F. Place the meringue in the oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door closed and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.
  6. Carefully remove the pavlova from the baking sheet and center it on a serving platter. Spread the top evenly with whipped cream and arrange fruit nicely on the top. To serve, cut into wedges.

Papua New Guinea

To date, this was our least favorite meal to eat, but the most fun to cook!
We decided to do a Mumu, a traditional way of cooking food over an open fire, usually in a pit with hot stones over covered food. We already had the fire pit, and we pulled out our maple syrup pot to create an oven:


We lined the pot with banana leaves (found some at the little Asian market down the street from work) and layered veggies, pineapple & chicken then poured in a can of coconut milk, and wrapped the banana leaves around the food. We had dug out the firepit deeper, and let the fire burn down to a good bed of coals and the whole meal slow cooked for a couple of  hours.


Big pile of fresh fruit & veggies

What it looked like cooked

To drink we made Muli Wara (lemonade!)

And fresh fruit for dessert:

The only reason I say it was our least favorite to eat, the banana leaves left a flavour we did not enjoy, the method of cooking was great though, we will make this again, without the banana leaves!



Thursday, 25 October 2012

Japan

We LOVE Sushi. So we were so very excited to land on Japan. I would like to say, that Kingston has about as many Sushi restaurants as it does Tim Hortons. They are all pretty good, but I will also say some of the best sushi I have had was in Montreal. But don't ask me where, because I don't remember. Actually, Shawn is the one that has always loved sushi. He had to persuade me many times to try it.....for me it was an acquired taste. But once I acquired it.....yum-yum. The boys also like it, in fact Fintan called all fish sushi for quite some time when he was young. But he may have been referring to goldfish crackers. He may have just been trying to say "fishy".

Little Man F draws the flags,
if they are simple!

Anyway.....Japan!
We started with Zaru Soba,  Japanese cold buckwheat noodles with dipping sauce. They were cool and refreshing; and enjoyed by all 4 of us. Here is the recipe I used: Zaru Soba





Next, was our maki and sushi feast, tempura and Sake (the LCBO only stocked one acually made in Japan)
This tray was made by a friend of ours, Jesse Stinson. Check out more of his and his family's work: Stinson Studios

Dessert....well we all tried it.....but only one bite:  

New York, New York



I know, New York is not a country. BUT I never said we were touring by country. And really, what would you do if you landed in Canada or the US? Go with the state, province or territory of course. Besides, tonight is a great excuse for say New York style cheesecake: (Did I ever mention that Shawn spent a winter working at a bakery....that was a great winter)




To keep us hydrated while we cooked, we sipped on Manhattans (did you know that you buy bitters at the grocery store, NOT the LCBO?)  To make yours:

  •  2oz whiskey
  • splash of sweet vermouth (any thoughts on what else I should do with the 1L bottle of sweet vermouth? Oh wait....it's made in Italy, note to self: before drinking Italian wine when we land in Italy, find a drink requiring sweet vermouth)
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • maraschino cherry

Mix liquids with ice, strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.


Fun fact: The Manhattan was created in 1874 at the Manhattan Club in New York City, for Lady Jenny Churchill, Winston Churchill's mother. (from the Coles Notes, Your guide to Bartending.....yes I still have Coles notes, but  just this one)


The first course was a Manhattan Clam Chowder.....this is a recipe we will make again. So delish. Here is the recipe I used: Manhattan Clam Chowder


For the main course, we went with Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.....I know, my US geography is not top notch, but one could argue that it is a good thing we are doing this. And Fintan's finger was kind of on the border. At any rate, the sandwiches were yummy!

First Stop: Russia

What a place to start! I guess as one of the biggest land masses on the map, it was easy to land on. The menu, of course had to include Borscht. Which the boys very much enjoyed:

They were being vampires I guess....I suppose playing with your food is OK if you are actually eating it as well.


The main course was a Kulebiaka, a savory Russian pie traditionally filled with fish, rice, chopped egg, and mushrooms. 

But the highlight of this meal was dessert, a layered Honey cake that Shawn slaved over.  It is well worth the effort. This is the recipe that we followed: Mulit-layerd Russian Honey Cake




And of course, what is a Russian meal without a wee bit of vodka....straight up! I tried to sneak in a bit of tonic with mine, but was severely frowned at. And of course, Iain wanted a little taste. And when we obliged, he made a face and declared "Russian Water Yucky"


How the tour started

I love food. So much that it pretty much consumes (ha) my day. I wake up, feed the kids, make lunches and think about what we will have for dinner. I have an addiction to buying magazines proclaiming to be full of easy quick recipes and meal ideas (sadly, I'm often disappointed)
Fortunately, my husband and sons share my love of food, and are not afraid to experiment. That said, I still find it challenging to come up with new and interesting meals. One Taco Tuesday evening, I was reflecting on how the boys love themed dinners......and World Wednesday was born. We are about 6 months into our 'Round the World Culinary Tour.
People ask me where I find recipes, this website is usually my starting point: http://www.whats4eats.com/

After posting pictures to my facebook page for the last few months, and being told I should blog it.....well here goes! I will post pictures, menus and some recipes, and whatever else pops into my head at the time.

This is how it works:
The takeoff......eyes are closed!

The flight....


The landing!