Monday, 18 February 2013

And the Oscar Goes To...

There are some really good movies in the running for best picture this year at the Oscars...or so I hear they are good. I love movies but am generally pretty slow to actually seeing them. Of those on the nominated list, I have seen two: Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty. Both were extremely violent, but both were also outstanding stories.   

Although I have not seen many of the movies, this does not stop me from hosting an Oscar's party. Any reason to have a party works for me! I'm working on a movie themed game and of course we'll have the ballots. As per usual, because of my lack-of-movie-viewing, my ballot will be filled with guesses based on what my friends who have actually seen the movies say or what the entertainment shows have just reported as the front runners in each category.

Food wise there are a myriad of ideas. Here are a few movie-themed suggestions for you to use at your own Oscar's party:

Zero Dark Thirty - Classic Hummus as it's a traditional middle eastern dish. Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Life of Pi - Fish Pie Need we say more? Recipe from Food it Forward.

Lastly, we had to pick Argo for the Canadian connection and what's more Canadian than maple syrup? We found this wonderful recipe for Maple Spice Cake from where else but Canadian Living :)

Have a ball on Oscar night!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Eve

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and no matter how you feel about the holiday, you can't deny that any reason to celebrate love and eating chocolate is a good thing.

This year the pressure is off for my sweetie and I as we are going to a wedding on the big love day. Not only are the happy couple getting married on Valentine's Day, it's the 1 year anniversary of their first date! I can't imagine more pressure for a first date then one on Valentine's Day. Then again, a first date on St. Patrick's Day would be worse...yikes!

Anyway, we are excited to be getting dressed up, going to a fancy event and watching people we love, express their love and commitment to each other.

Enjoy celebrating all the people you love in your life! xo

And in case you need a quick and delicious chocolate recipe (who doesn't?), try this one from my good friend Tom.

Black Bean Brownies
-1 15 oz can of black beans
-3 eggs
-3 tbsp of oil (canola)
-1/4 cup cocoa
-1 tbsp baking powder
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate ones, but you can use milk chocolate)

Preheat oven at 350. Grease a 8x8 pan (or whatever you have).
Combine all ingredients in a blender (except for the chocolate chips). Blend until smooth (it'll look and taste like pudding, yum!). Pour into the pan. Add the chocolate chips on top and bake until top and edges are dry (I usually stick a knife in the middle and if it's dry, the brownies are ready).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Gonna Party Like it's 4711!!

Image from
The Lunar New Year is the most important of all the Chinese holidays. It starts this year on Sunday February 10th and lasts from the new moon to the full moon on the 25th. So there will be lots of celebrating and FOOD!!

This year is 4711 (or around there) and will be the year of the snake. As with every new year, a it's a time to reconcile and sincerely wish for peace and happiness to everyone.

Many of the traditional foods eaten at this time represent the hopes for the coming year. Here are a few:

Tangerines: A great gift to bring to someone as they are associated with good luck, having an abundance of happiness and prosperity. Get the big round ones and if possible, with the leaves still attached.

Spring Rolls: They look like little bars of gold and signify wealth. Try making your own gold bars of goodness with this recipe from Steamy Kitchen

Long Noodles: The noodles symbolize long life so the longer the noodle the better! Here's a recipe with the very tasty garlic chive and mushrooms.

Shitake Longevity Noodles
  • Dried, thin egg noodles
  • 20 fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 inch of ginger thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped garlic chives
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese red vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Special equipment: A wok and chopsticks
  1. Cook noodles in boiling water for 1 minute or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the Chinese vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce and cornstarch. Mix well to combine sauce. Set aside.
  3. Heat canola oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Next add the shitakes, garlic chives and spring onions. Fry for another 30 seconds then add the sauce. Stir well to combine then add 1 cup of warm water. Let the mixture bubble for about 2 minutes then add the cooked noodles.
  4. Use chopsticks to toss the noodles in the wok. Toss them well to coat them in the sauce and mix through the mushrooms, chives and spring onions. Let the noodles cook for another minute or two and then serve.
Enjoy and we wish you happiness, health and prosperity for this Lunar New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choi!!