posts filed under the 'food' category :
November 16th, 2011

your pick.

Equally beautiful.

applesEqually delicious.

cookiesBut I know which one I’d pick. :)

If you’d like to pick the same, check out the recipe in last year’s post here.

July 12th, 2011

when life gives you lemons…

…well, you know how it goes.bag o lemons

Not to worry, my life isn’t full of metaphor-ical lemons right now. More like alllllmost ripe apples, full of hope, but waiting for the perfect moment to be picked to yield their full potential… whoa.

But I digress: LEMONS! I just had to grab a bag o’ lemons yesterday on my way home from work. The gals over at Lot It A Lot posted this recipe the other day (as inspired by this recipe), and I thought I’d take a crack at my own version! Not to mention my excitement to use the glass juicer I picked up during a recent trip to Creemore, ON! Here’s what I came up with:squeezed lemons

  • 3 cups of semi-frozen strawberries (I’d frozen a big batch and let them thaw enough to puree with the hand blender)
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 7up or Sprite

In a saucepan, heat your water and sugar just enough to dissolve the sugar completely, making a simple syrup. Puree your strawberries completely, and add your lemon juice and simple syrup. Give it a taste and add either more sweet (sugar) or sour (lemon) as per your own taste. In individual glasses, pour 1/2 cup of 7up/Sprite and top with your lemon-strawberry mixture. If your berries were still semi-frozen like mine you should be cool enough, but add ice if need be. Annnnd if a little vodka or gin makes it way in there, all the power to ya. ENJOY!strawberry lemonade

If you have a look at Hollie’s recipe at LIAL you’ll notice mine is about halved: reason being that I only had 3/4 cup of sugar, so I had to work around that. I’m thinking this would be delicious with blueberries as well, so use what ya got, and lemme know how it goes! Happy Summer Everyone! xo

 

March 21st, 2011

penne alla 406

Ohhh such a delicious little (ok, big) meal in so little time. It’s always nice to find out you can have something restaurant-perfect in your own home in as little as 20 minutes (and without using a takeout/delivery menu).

It’s no secret in our house that I la-la-LOVE pasta. Just ask my hips: they don’t lie. But outside spaghetti/fettuccine alfredo/”homemade beefaroni”, 406’s pasta offerings are limited. Until today.

Living up the road from a fabulous Portuguese butcher only sparks the imaginations of us self-proclaimed foodies.baconstove

And with pasta on sale at the local Shopper’s, we came to a great conclusion: Penne alla Vodka.

It’s been said that when cooking with wine, you shouldn’t just settle for the crappy table wine: it will only taint the food, and go against the whole reason for adding wine to the dish. We figured the same rules apply when using vodka, so Crystal Skull it was!crystal skull vodka

Add a thawed dish of Jeff’s famous “spaghetti” sauce, a splash of cream…penne alla vodka

And dinner is served! Such a treat -the bacon was cut so thick , and the sauce was so robust; this was definitely not a meal for the faint of heart (or of appetite).bacon upclose

And the company! Well, that’s the best part ;)aprons

Give it a try today, or share with us some of your creative uses for left over sauces, etc.!

So you may have noticed as of late that the Buoy Bird blog has been light on the “home building” and heavy on the everything else… there is a good reason for that. Stay tuned!

***Check out this post and many others linked up on Good Life Wednesdays over at A Beach Cottage :)

March 15th, 2011

my mother’s daughter

Jeff bought a delicious loaf of homemade bread from the Nova, and nothing brings me back to my mother’s kitchen more than bread, butter, and molasses. bread and molassesMakes me feel warm and cozy, just like you Mama. Love you! xo

March 8th, 2011

happy pancake day!

Did you guys celebrate Pancake Day when you were kids? As a non-parent, I always wonder if they still do this in schools, and if parents still give this little breakfast-for-supper treat to their kids on the day before Ash Wednesday.

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). Supposedly Pancake Tuesday was started because it was a way for families to use up all the dairy, eggs, and sweets in the house before abstaining from rich foods throughout Lent. Although I was raised in a Catholic home, I found more fun than religion in Pancake Day (though I do remember eating a lot of fish on Fridays). Not only would we get a longer lunch to enjoy pancakes in the cafeteria at school, but my family was all about making a special, homemade batch of “Nannie’s Pancakes” on the electric griddle for supper on Pancake Tuesday.nannies pancakes

Nannie’s Pancakes are another family specialty. My cousin Adam actually reminded me that today is Shrove Tuesday, and although for some reason we have differing versions of Nannie’s Pancakes (yes, it’s the same Nannie), we both end up with delicious, dense, tea biscuit-like treats, which are equally good for dining on or just snacking on cold the next day.keep em warm

Here’s the recipe:pancake recipe

Ta-ha! Just kidding! I won’t pull another Peanut Butter Ball cop out on you! Here’s the (legible) recipe:

Nanny Humphrey’s Pancakes

  • 1 cup of “sour” milk (to sour milk, add 1 tbsp of white vinegar to the milk and let stand for 10 minutes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 of salt
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

Beat your egg, and add your milk and sugar. Premix your other dry ingredients in another bowl, and then add your dry ingredients to your egg, milk, and sugar. Stir in your oil, mixing well, but DO NOT beat the batter. Heat a frying pan or electric griddle on low heat, greasing the pan. Drop your pancake batter by tablespoons on to your pan. You will want to use a low heat the whole time as these pancakes are much more dense than regular pancakes, and will need the extra time to cook through.pancake snack

And there you have it! Sweet, dense pancakes! Like I said, they are different from any ordinary pancake, so feel free to get creative with them. Eat them with jam, cut them in half and spread with butter like a biscuit, or do like Jeff and I did, and tear them apart with your hands, dipping them in a side of maple syrup! Mmm-mmm!

Do you have a special family pancake recipe? Feel free to share it in the comments; we LOVE trying new things! Happy Pancake Day everyone!

UPDATE! So it turns out this recipe is actually my DAD’S nannie’s, making it my great-nannie’s recipe! Old School! My dad use to love going to “Nannie’s” for his pancake treat. Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

February 17th, 2011

this. is. cool.

That is what I said when I stumbled upon this instant bread in an awesome terracotta bowl (in a pharmacy, no less). Generally, one-off novelty items like this that pop up in strange places dissuade me, but really, Herb and Garlic Bread in a terracotta bowl? That’s a no-brainer.bread bowl start

Just add beer? Really? Just beer? Even my Saturday nights require more than just adding beer to prove delicious. If you say so amazing easy-bread.just add beer

Ok, even unbaked, it looks awesome. I could just leave this on my counter as is, and anyone who passed though would trust that I am a country-kitchen goddess.unwrapped bread bowl

Step one: the sacrifice.

blurry beer

(Please excuse the blurred quality. It was the beer’s fault.)one easy step

Step two: let the bread rise, then place in oven.let it rise

While the bread is baking, clean up the big mess you made…no mess

Oh wait! You didn’t make a big mess because all you had to do was ADD BEER!

Instead, pet adorable cat. This easy-bread thing only gets better and better.pet cat

(The hairy arm is Jeff’s, I swear.)

DING! It’s done! And it looks amazing!bread done

Step three: enjoy delicious, dense, celery-seed infused bread with boyfriend’s BEST CHILI EVER and a couple heads of roasted garlic. Heaven.bread and garlic

Is it *homemade*? No. Am I slightly blaspheme-ing my domestic goddess status by making something pre-mixed***? Possibly. Is it worthy of being on my cousin Adam’s amazing new food blog? No. But is it food that is good for the soul? Hellllllz yah. So take a chance on those funny little novelty items; you might just be surprised.

(***Admit it, we’re all guilty of a little “from the box”…You didn’t make all those cupcakes from scratch! Admit it! ;) )

(and ps: seriously, check out Adam’s blog. Yummy things await you!)

January 24th, 2011

when life gives you lemons…

…make lemonade.

And when life cancels your work day because of a flood in your place of employ, grab a Cinnabon and a coffee and go back to bed! cinnabon and coffeeStay warm and cozy all my Canuck friends!

January 11th, 2011

got chocolate?

Man, oh man. Do I LOVE finding new blogs to pore over. Wanna know why? This is why.Chocolate Pudding

This is Cassity’s Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. I stumbled across Cassity’s blog, Remodelaholic, through someone else’s blog (wish I could remember who, but I had a lot of new blogs going on today; new blog overload!), and turns out she hosts a link party for recipes every Sunday. Before even submitting my own link, I literally ran to the kitchen to give this recipe a whirl.Chocolate Close Up

This dessert is a choco-holics dream. Super easy, super fast, super chocolate-y. I managed to make it while Jeff was preparing an amazing chicken for our dinner, without getting in his way; a true testament to this dessert’s ease.

Please, make your life better and give it a try:

Cassity’s Microwaved Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

(serves 2)

Combine:

  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • a small pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp of melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp of milk
  • *Optional: chopped pecans or walnuts in desired amount

Mix above ingredients together and split evenly between two large ramekins (7-10 oz); wider coffee mugs would work too.

In another bowl mix together :

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of cocoa

Sprinkle half of the mixture over each ramekin

Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over each ramekin

Place one ramekin on a small plate (in case of overflow) and microwave for 1 minute – 1 minute 30 seconds

Serve with vanilla ice cream! (we had to skip the ice cream part as there was none in the house :/ )Chocolate done

Seriously. About 5 minutes of minimal effort for a dessert that made me completely forget about the Plague of 2011 which is currently sweeping across 406. Chocolate cures all. The dessert actually reminded me of the boxed chocolate pudding cake I use to make with my friends after school in high school. But better. Homemade always = better. Check out Cassity’s original post on her amazing creation and lots of other great recipes here. And if you’re a fellow blogger, be sure to Link Up and join the fun!Recipe Swap Sundays Remodelaholic

Oh, and that chicken Jeff cooked? Well, it speaks for itself…Chicken

…As does the soup he also made from it. Gotta love a man who makes C.N.S. when there is a house full of sickies! God love him :)Chicken Soup

Special thanks again to Cassity at Remodelaholic! xo

December 12th, 2010

mappy birthmas 2010!!!

Thank you all so much for the lovely feedback on my post on Matt and Kim! Trust me, it was my pleasure. :)

So are you curious? What is this Mappy Birthmas I speak of? Well, it’s the best of Christmas and a Christmas-time Birthday all rolled into one! We have been hosting our annual 406 Holiday Party for four years now, and last year my SPECTACULAR friends decided that since they never get to celebrate my birthday with me (as I’m a Boxing Day baby, and always in Nova Scotia for the holidays), they would bring my birthday to our holiday party! And yes, it does mean that we party that much harder!PB Balls

Last year the gals had a cake made for me that was simply to die for: a Pug cake by SuGaR, complete with hand-painted paw prints and individually rolled pieces of fondant dog food in the pug’s food bowl. A-mazing. Also, a beautiful Anthropologie apron (which I’m coincidentally wearing as I pen this post!).Kyla's CookiesWillow's Tres Leche Cake

This year I was just as spoiled, with a good many bottles of wine, a gorgeous door hook from Umbra (which went to good use when the coat rack fell to pieces), and the bloggers’ best friend: a Laptop Desk Pillow. My only issue is keeping it away from the web designer boyfriend (give it back!).Candy Canes

I love hosting this party each year. Having my friends (and their friends) all under one roof, around our tree, enjoying plenty of food and drink and laughter… it’s probably my favorite moment of any given year. I am always surprised by how many people we manage to squeeze into our one bedroom apartment, but it just makes things all the more cozy. The fact that the real party always migrates into the kitchen truly makes me feel like I’m down home.Ol Saint NickSkates

As usual, the night flew by, with me running around saying hello, tending to empty trays, and visiting Jeff at his station behind the kitchen island. I always feel like I blink and it’s over. I found myself pouting when guests started leaving, only to realize that it was past 2 am. I think the door officially shut somewhere after 4.Christmas Cups

Amongst my busy-ness, I didn’t have much of a chance to take many photos this year, but not to fear! My very great friends Kyla and Ace came to the rescue (along with Ky’s yummy SLR camera), and took all these shots for me so that we could look back on our special night together! Thank you SO much girls!!!Festive Feets

So that was Mappy Birthmas 2010 in a nutshell! It brought all the warmth and cheer that I anticipated it would (as it has in years past), and I couldn’t help but smile when my guests told me in the days following that it truly got them in the Christmas Spirit. That, my friends, is the greatest gift you could ever give me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! xo

all images by Kyla Tingley and Ace Hicks (*mwah* ladies!)

November 29th, 2010

be an angel baker

A call to all my baker friends out there: GIVE GIVE GIVE!bags of cookies

This weekend I had the opportunity to donate some of my baked goods to a great cause, and it felt very nice to start off the holiday season with some giving. I had never really thought of it before, but it’s such a great idea to bake an extra batch or two of whatever you’re making for the holidays and to donate it to a local food bank, shelter, or charity bake sale. Good stuff people!lady with her cookies

Lady was of the opinion that she was in need of shortbreads (seriously, the cats love all the butter in them), but in the end she was willing to share.broken shortbreads

This is the only kind of broken heart that should be allowed at Christmas time. Help heal a heart of your own by finding a local shelter (human OR animal!) or charity in your area and give in your own special way. The world will thank you.

For a list of shelters in Toronto, click here, or for information on helping a four-legged friend this holiday season, check out the Humane Society. AND PLEASE!!! Give daily by donating nothing more than a minute of your time to the The Animal Rescue Site; each click helps feed shelter animals, and it’s as simple as being reminded via email every day! Happy Holidays everyone!!!