A Nice Lunch Out.

You know when you’re grocery shopping and you just want to get the job done so you’re doing your thing but, there are people casually strolling through the aisles looking at everything and blocking you at every effing turn?

Annoying right?!

I am that annoying person.

Sorry.

(I’m not sorry)

In my defense I only do it at certain stores and one of those stores happens to be: Italian Centre Shop.

This place is a small chain of locally owned- Edmonton, AB- and operated grocery stores that sell Italian products AND…they carry stuff from around the world.

The world!

It’s the coolest place ever. I almost never go unless I have a good stack of bills because I will BUY ALL THE THINGS and I don’t want lack of cash to limit any of my choices. There are so many choices! They have an amazing deli, bakery and café. They bring in locally sourced items and have specials and deals and events and are active in the community.

Prices are reasonable, products are interesting and of quality, service is friendly and efficient. It’s basically one of my favourite places. Ever!

I’ve been a fan for almost 9 years and while we usually grab sandwiches from the café to go, we’ve never actually ordered a full meal and sat down for it.

We – the Hubs and I -did just that on a cold day in February.

Our location of choice? The southside on 104a Street. The lunch? Soup and sandwich.

It was the daily special and if memory serves me, it was only 9.98. That golden bowl of loveliness was Chicken & Rice and that deceptively looking simple sandwich was … I can’t remember. Sorry! It had sausage, fresh mozzarella , artichokes, a pepper spread … (CALABRESE! That’s the name of the sandwich. Calabrese! ) and lettuce. I could eat 900 of those things…

The soup was thick with rice, veggies and real chicken. The broth was rich and fragrant with just enough seasoning to be satisfyingly salty but not overdone. It was juuuust right. The sandwich had a nice mix of creamy, crunchy, salty, smooth, spiciness that seems to get tastier and tastier with each bite. I could have done without the lettuce. I found it added nothing really and was annoying to bite through. This is probably a personal thing! Some people like it, some people don’t … I couldn’t be bothered to pull it out though so it obviously wasn’t horrible.

ANYhoo, it was a great meal at an affordable price in a busy little neighbourhood café . It would benefit your stomach and soul to stop in sometime. And if you just want to shop, I promise to try and be more mindful of my surroundings!

Eat Your Greens.

I’ve successfully incorporated more veggies into my diet and boy do I feel smug.

Healthy! I mean I feel healthy.

Does this glass make me look smug?

All jesting aside, I made my first smoothie the other day and it was SO good!

I forgot how good smoothies can be!

Smug Ass Smoothie.

  1. Pour one good glug of orange juice in your whizzer. It was probably close to 1/4 cup of juice.
  2. Plop in one of those little single serving size yogurts. I used a delicious blackberry/blueberry mix.
  3. Squish in a big banana. Do you know I can only eat organic bananas? I can’t stand the taste of non organic ones. Plus they rot way faster too. It’s the strangest thing.
  4. Wash a good handful of spinach, and “in she goes!”
  5. Whiz, whiz, whiz and you’re done!

Looks putrid, non? It wasn’t, I assure you.

And just so you don’t think I’m one of those people, you should know I also ate a toasted Hot Cross Bun with gobs of butter!

Look at the fat glisten.
I cant believe I’m posting this photo of myself.

Do you have a favourite way to eat your veggies? What’s your favourite smoothie combination?

W is for Wacky Cake.

I’m sure everyone who bakes has heard of Wacky Cake!

It’s a neat little cake that can be whipped up IN IT’S OWN PAN, using economical ingredients and it comes out fabulously rich and moist. There are no eggs, milk or butter and I know what you’re thinking “Gross. How is THAT a cake?” That’s the whole point of it! No eggs, milk or butter and its still amazing! How wacky is that?!

It was born during the Depression era out when rations for milk and eggs were scarce and the recipe and its variations have survived to this day.

I enjoyed this growing up but up until this year had never made it myself. When I finally did, I added my own touch and am pleased as punch with the results!

Cinnamon Chili Wacky Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. 1.5 cups flour
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 TSP baking soda
  5. .5 TSP salt
  6. 1 TSP -well rounded- cinnamon
  7. .5 TSP cayenne powder
  8. 1 good glug vanilla extract. It’s actually 1 tsp but ya know…
  9. 1 TBSP cider vinegar. I used good old ACV.
  10. 6 TBSP Vegetable oil. I used Olive and it was fine.
  11. 1 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Sift your dry ingredients into an 8×8 inch ungreased cake pan.

Make three wells in dry ingredients and in add: oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the last one.

Pour water over it all and mix it up really well with a fork. Scraping down to the bottom and sort of whisking it all together to incorporate it all together.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool. Frost with your favourite topping (Or not. This is good without it!)

Lazy Chocolate Ganache

Heat a few TBSP cream and a couple of handfuls of good chocolate chunks in the microwave for about a minute. Stir to melt and incorporate chocolate and cream together. Pour and spread over top of cake. Let set for a bit then eat.

YUM!

Photo by Rafel AL Saadi on Pexels.com

Makeshift Meals-Brussel Sprouts Hash & Eggs.

I had some Brussel sprouts left over from Yule (gasp!) and as I’m the only one in this house who likes the yummy little cabbage brains,I knew I could eat them however I liked!

Soooooo. I roasted them up with some wee potatoes (also left over from Yule) and seasoned them simply with salt and pepper.

Or maybe just salt…I don’t see any pepper? Do you?!

I couldn’t stop myself from picking at them just the way they were but that does not a meal make.

Channeling my inner brunch lover, I promptly fried two eggs and plopped them on top:

And enjoyed the hell out of the whole mess! It was amazingly satisfying. I will definitely be adding this one to the menu when I open my hip new diner in … never.

You should try it too!

Makeshift meal? Will you marry me? ❤

Simple Pleasure- Roast Beef Sandwich

I first came to love a simple roast beef sandwich, 26 years ago whilst standing in the kitchen with future mother in law.

I’d had them before, but usually always with deli meat, never an actual piece of roasted meat. This just screamed comfort to me. Hominess. I was a girl who craved such things even as a young 19 year old.

I can remember Mum apologizing for serving me leftovers – I think I was over for lunch that day-and I thought she was so cute. Leftovers! Like having REAL left over roast beef in sandwiches was a bad thing. I don’t think there was ever a day in my own family where we’d ever had such a thing. Her left overs were my luxury!

We ate happily together and that sandwich has stayed with me ever since. It was so simple yet so good. Quality ingredients put together well.

In the years since, I’ve fine tuned my version of the sandwiches we ate that day. My meat is barely cooked – hers was WELL, well done- I add salt and pepper and slather on way more butter than Mum ever would. Sometimes, my meat is spiced, sometimes its plain. But its always basically the same- meat, white bread, and butter. Yum!

Butter something white and yeasty
Pile on the meat!

Season with salt and pepper
Add some sides and enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to enjoy a roast beef sandwich?

Makeshift Meals- Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Banana Bread-Bananas.

What? Banana bread can be a meal.

Especially if you make it into an epic dessert like I did!

Here’s the scoop.

I was feeling dessert-y but didn’t want to make anything and didn’t really have anything laying about that was turning me on. Until I remembered the big chunk of chocolate banana bread I’d popped in the freezer and the half hand of brown bananas.

So, I microwaved the banana bread then lightly toasted it in the oven.

Then, I sliced the bananas into long chunks and pan fried them in a shit load of butter, until golden on one side. When I flipped them over to brown the other side I sprinkled over a big soup spoon of brown sugar and let the whole lot caramelize for a few mins. THEN, (this is the best part ) I poured over a good glug of chocolate, cinnamon chili Kahlua, let it all come together (without the loss of my eyebrows or home ) and poured the whole lovely mess over the warm and toasty banana bread.

It was rich as hell but really good. You should try it sometime!

Makeshift Meals-Perogies and Slaw.

With apologies to purists everywhere.

This seems weird (and it really is ) but it was good. I swear it!

I had run out of leftovers, which is what I usually have for lunch, and was (and still am ) trying to stay away from DELICIOUS, saaaaaaalty, ramen noodles.

What to eat, what to eat?

I ended up dressing some broccoli slaw with Honey Poppy Seed salad dressing and used the whole mess as a bed for some cheesy perogies. It was strangely good. Had I any sour cream I would have mixed some of that up with some Dijon and slopped it on top too.

Ta Da!

Sometimes the best meals are the makeshift ones!

What is your favourite makeshift meal?