Saturday, August 1, 2015

Raspberry Balsamic Blue Cheese Hand Pies

This post is part of a recipe that we created and submitted for the Melt Magazine Bloggers Challenge Four! Please help me out by voting for my recipe (Raspberry Balsamic Castello Blue Cheese Hand Pies) and tell your friends to vote by following this link. By voting, there's an added incentive to win 1 of 2 $50 grocery vouchers from Castello!

I've had plenty of pies and I've begun to get more acquainted with making and working with pie doughs and pie making. Lately, Dan has been talking about hand pies and I thought that this recipe would be a great way to try my "hand" at this.

I think the beauty of this hand pie is especially highlighted in the handmade pie dough with a crunchy sugary crust. Making your own pie dough allows you to control the flakiness and (more importantly) the amount of dough you use. The step-by-step recipe with pictures for making your own homemade pie dough will be my next post.

This post will focus on the filling and the assembly of the pies.

This recipe makes 14-15 hand pies.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sabor Restaurant - 3rd Annual Seafood Festival

Having just had a fantastic family style dinner at Sabor with family, I was invited to Sabor this past Monday for the launch of their 3rd Annual Seafood Fest! The seafood fest we had last year was so good, so we knew that this year's would be no exception. Chef Lino Oliveira truly impressed the guests with not only beautifully created dishes but each had its own wonderful flavours and story.

All the seafood available on the menu at Sabor is 100% Ocean Wise certified. This means that Ocean Wise, which is a program through the Vancouver Aquarium, will look at all the fish available and recommend which ones should be eaten based on the time of the year and other factors such as the management of the fishery and how they are caught. There is also an Ocean Wise iPhone App that you can use when you are out and about to locate other Ocean wise restaurants, markets, look up Ocean Wise partners, view updated seafood recommendations and also browse different seafood species. All the seafood that Sabor uses is supplied through Albion Fisheries.

SABOR Restaurant - Family Dining

perfectly seared tuna on a bed of fresh cucumber salad

Over the past few years, Dan and I have enjoyed going to Sabor for dinners including our first dinner there back in 2012, birthdays and their seafood fest last year (which also happened to be on Dan's birthday). So, when my parents planned on visiting us this summer we started to come up with a list of restaurants that we would take them to. Of course, Sabor was on the list! 

We ended up having dinner at Sabor on a Saturday night in July with my in-laws (Dan's parents), my parents and family friends. In total there were 8 of us. To my delight, we were seated in the semi-private dining area. After much deliberation, everyone decided to go with the Family style dining option - which at $49 per person was a really good price! The family style dining is served family style so all the food is on one plate and the menu is decided by Chef Lino. Typically there are two appetizers, a main with two proteins, and a selection of desserts.

large piri piri prawns for family style dining at Sabor

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Homemade Pasta - Made Easy!

Sheet of pasta going through a hand crank pasta maker

Whenever Dan and I invite guests over for their first meal at our place, we often serve up fresh pasta as our main starch. Guests are always surprised at not only how tasty fresh pasta is but also how quickly it can be made. This is because we usually complete the final preparation of rolling out the pasta, cutting, cooking, and dressing the pasta within minutes right before their eyes. 

Making fresh pasta at home is way easier than you think. In fact, you would be surprised to learn that the cooking time for fresh pasta is faster than waiting for the water to boil and cooking boxed pasta.

The one thing that we have found crucial to making pasta is a kitchen scale. This removes any of the guesswork and "feel" when you often read other pasta recipes. Using a kitchen scale also makes it much easier to increase the quantity of pasta you make with predictable results. 

  • Eggs
  • Flour
We make our pasta using an egg:flour ratio of 2:3 (two to three). This means that we usually weigh our eggs first, then multiply that weight by 1.5 to calculate how much flour to add. For example, when we weigh two eggs and the scale displays 60g, the amount of flour to mix in is 90g (1.5 x 60g = 90g). Dan says that this is a great chance to practice your math OR you can use this calculator that Dan made!


We find that 2 eggs is enough for the two of us but when we have guests over we usually use 5 medium sized eggs. 

Once you have your eggs and flour measured out, mix the eggs into the flour using the paddle hook in your Kitchen Aid for a few minutes until combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and then wrap the dough tightly and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This extra 20 minutes will make your dough consistency more even and also make it easier to roll.

Side view of the roll of pasta dough

Take small fist-sized chunks of the pasta dough, thread it through the pasta maker twice through each setting. I usually prefer a slightly thinner pasta so I start on setting 1 (on our pasta roller, the thickest setting is "1" meaning the rollers are furthest apart) and then run each sheet through until setting 6 (the rollers get closer with each setting). The higher the setting the thinner the pasta dough will be. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Celebrate International Sushi Day & a Edo Japan Giveaway!

Who loves sushi? If you love sushi as much as I do then you will certainly appreciate today's giveaway! Today (Thursday June 19) is International Sushi Day and Edo Japan wants to celebrate it with you!

Edo Japan has its roots in Calgary, Alberta but now has expanded to many locations across Canada. If you haven't had your chance to try their food, here is your chance! Enter in the rafflecopter below!

Please note, there is a mandatory entry to complete. You must comment (located below the rafflecopter) to be entered into the giveaway. Share what is your favourite sushi memory.  The more details you give the better! You must log your info into the rafflecopter otherwise your entry will not be counted.  Also, this giveaway ($50 giftcard to Edo) is limited to areas where Edo Japan is located. Good luck! Contest closes midnight Wednesday June 24, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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