Damn Good Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Years ago my mom gave me her cookbook of handwritten recipes. I love it and sometimes flip through just for the memories. There are blobs of oil, smears of chocolate and a thin dusting of flour on some pages. Plus my mom’s unique handwriting that I spent hours as a child and teen trying to imitate. Some recipes are so familiar I can almost taste them by looking at the pages, conjuring up images of me and my sister licking beaters of delicious, dripping batters. Continue Reading »

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Crispy Fish Sandwich with Tartar Sauce

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One of the things that keeps my husband from getting too homesick is the amazing fish we have here on the West Coast. Honestly, I can’t think of a more comforting meal for an Islander (East or West) then fish and chips. So  it was brutally disappointing when the fish and chip dinner we went out for was utter crap. Normally I would say something but we were at the end of a long outing, had hungry kids and it just felt like more effort then eating what was tolerable and calling it a night.

Fortunately, I had bought some Pacific cod earlier that day and the next evening I decided to make up for our horrible dinner, especially since I felt responsible for picking the restaurant… Continue Reading »

Apple Spice Whole Wheat Waffles

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Waffles figure heavily in my meal plans. I love em, can whip up a batch fairly quickly and they can be a great dinner too. Hubbers is a purist so he prefers the plain old waffle (he doesn’t like butter with crab or put dressing on salad…) Me, well I can’t look at a recipe or meal without my brain tick ticking on ways I can make it yummier or different or healthier. In this case I had an abundance of apples and a hankering for cinnamon. Continue Reading »

Weekly Meal Plan – Autopilot

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As I struggled to once again put my daughter to bed last week I noticed that my brain has become permanently impaired. I was staring at her pj’s and seriously considering changing them because the last time she wore them she was up all night. Was this an omen, was there something about these pj’s she didn’t like? Unfortunately, I have been blessed with a sh*t sleeping baby and it’s taking its toll. Continue Reading »

Weekly Meal Plan – Change is good

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My sister and I were talking tonight about the challenges of adapting to life with kids, especially if life doesn’t fit into a 9-5 package. It got me thinking of the difficult shift we had to make when Hubbers started working away. It required some serious adaptability and planning to keep on top of things and at times it has felt pretty overwhelming. Thankfully, we are pretty adaptable and I pray that organization is a skill that can be learned at any age.

We were also discussing how easy it is to start eating like crap if you aren’t prepared. Continue Reading »

Sliders with Caramelized Bourbon Onions

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I realize this doesn’t sound like typical food served at a three year olds birthday party. Instead of  this being a toddler event, we had decided to throw a BBQ for all the people that are a part of my little guy’s life. We’re super fortunate to have a great group of people surrounding us that all adore my son and help out any time I’ve needed it, especially with Huberoo out of town. This was as chance to celebrate one of the best things in my life, my darling son and a celebration of the amazing group we have in our lives. And with any gathering in my home this meant I had to feed these lovely folks some damn good food. Continue Reading »

Asparagus Spring Salad

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When I decided that I was finally going to start a cooking blog ( late bloomer) I swore I was never going to start a post with shopping at a farmers market and being inspired by local ingredients. Let me be clear, I love inspiring fresh ingredients and I totally support local but there are 50 000 other blog posts that start exactly that way. Continue Reading »

Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Mustard BBQ Sauce

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It’s unseasonably warm here so I thought it was the perfect time to share an easy dinner that requires almost no cooking and tastes like BBQ mastery, at least in my humble opinion. I’ve made a quick mustard based BBQ sauce that comes together in 15 minutes and makes anything taste good. Combined it with rotisserie chicken and topped with it all with a Cilantro and Lime Coleslaw, making sandwich heaven.

The sauce is inspired by traditional Carolina pulled pork. I am in awe of their devotion to tasty meat and the amazing sauces that flow out of that area. I will probably never own a smoker, become a pit boss or devote my life to the BBQ cause but I do want to create my own little version. I’m sure they would roll their hickory smoked eyes at me for my short cuts and use of chicken, but this is a damn tasty sandwich that is maybe a little on the healthier side.

I made this while my mom was visiting, she enjoyed every bite and we were divvying up the last delicious mouthfuls. There is a  bit of a zing to the sauce so for my son I combined his chicken with a tomato based sauce. He of course ate the mustard sauce proving my extra steps completely unnecessary.

I’ve listed both  the recipe for the sauce and the coleslaw in this post because they do go so well together but they would be equally delicious on their own. The slaw is tasty, light and makes a great side and the BBQ sauce could make my shoes edible.

I have made a recent change to the BBQ sauce recipe. I found that without cooking the onions first the sauce needed more time. Since I want this to be quick I’ve added the step of cooking the onions making the sauce yummier faster.

BBQ chicken Sandwich

Mustard BBQ Sauce

1Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup mustard
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 cloves finely diced garlic
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp soya sauce
salt to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat cook the onions until they have softened and start to become translucent. Add the garlic briefly cooking then combine in all the ingredients. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste. The flavours develop more with cooking so if there is time, let it hang out for as long as possible

Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

2 large carrots peeled and grated
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 an avocado
1 tbsp mayo
juice from a small lime
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Combine the carrots, cabbage and cilantro in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl mash the avocado getting it as smooth as possible then mix in the remaining ingredients. Toss the dressing and cabbage mixture. Coleslaw to me seems to taste better once it has had a few minutes to mingle with the dressing so I suggest tossing the salad at least 5 minutes before using.

If avocados are unavailable increase the mayo to 3 tbsp and keep the rest of the recipe the same

For the sandwiches combine 4 cups of hand pulled chicken with the sauce. I used leftover chicken from roasted chicken I made. For a quick dinner a rotisserie chicken would work perfectly here. Pile the saucy chicken on your favourite type of bun and top with the coleslaw. Enjoy!!

Banh Mi Inspired Burger

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A Banh mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich that has inspired many creations and has become familiar in most parts of the world. It’s a crusty French roll filled often filled with pork, chicken, fresh crunchy vegetables, herbs and a little spice. Basically a massive amount of flavour packed into an amazing sandwich and if you try one you immediately understand why so many people love them.

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I thought the idea would translate into an amazing burger and these have quickly become a favourite in my house. The flavours all combine so wonderfully; crunchy pickled vegetables on top of a soy, ginger and garlic flavoured patty then a spicy mayo to tie it all together.

I have made these for friends and family and each person has declared it one of their favourite burgers ever. In fact, if I ever have my dream come true and own a little restaurant/shack this will most definitely be on the menu

This post has been updated with new photos and some editing to my initial writing (I spelled Sriracha wrong…). The recipe has not changed 🙂

Burgers

350  grams ground pork (1 package)
350 grams ground chicken thigh (1 package)
1/8 cup finely sliced green onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 thumb of ginger finely diced
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients, folding them together by hand, then form into patties. In a non stick pan over medium low heat brown one side about 5 minutes. Flip the burger and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook another 5-7 minutes or until the burger is cooked through.

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Pickles

1 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup roughly chopped  basil (I like mint in here too)

Heat the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until the the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the cucumber, carrots and radishes and allow them to sit for at least an hour before using. Just prior to serving pour off the pickling liquid and mix the pickled vegetables with the cilantro and mint.

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Spicy Mayo

2 tbs mayo 
2Tbsp plain yogurt
a healthy squeeze of sriracha 
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all three ingredients together in a small bowl. I have used Sambal because it’s what I had in my fridge but it’s pretty potent so it needs to be used fairly sparingly

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Smear the bun with the spicy mayo, then top the burger with the pickles and enjoy!!

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or any of my other posts. Also come and check out my Facebook page MyWeeklyDish for nightly meal inspiration

 

I hope you love this inspired burger as much as I do 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Meal Plan – Feeling Springy

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I love Spring on the Island. People believe it rains here all the time but really it is a gorgeous time of year. I start itching to get outside and suddenly have more than enough energy for everything. Especially projects, I started some seedlings with the little guy for our mini garden and I’m working on my herb planters for the front deck. The next projects are our community garden plot that we are trying out this year and repainting an old picnic table in the backyard. Now I just need the rain to clear a little more (okay it does rain here a fair amount) so that we can tackle it all.

My other favourite thing is the growing anticipation I feel for all the lovely produce I know is soon to come. I get just giddy thinking about all the yumminess that we are going to enjoy. I think it’s my most inspired time of the year for new recipes and ideas so I’m sure I will have tonnes to share.

Hubby is away three weeks this time so I’m still going with the extra easy theme for meals. I also decided to switch things up this week. Since I started this blog I shared the menu I was planning on making for the week. Mostly this worked but if I had new recipes I was tweaking it made it hard to get them up in time so I was often having to add extra meals and in short was creating more work for myself. This week I am going to share last weeks meal plan. This way I have all the recipes done and ready and I can include what we had for breakfast and lunches as well. I think overall this will work out a lot better.

Monday

Breakfast – Cheerios with sliced bananas

Lunch – Cream cheese and jam hearts w/ cut veggies
I was being cute and used a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of bread and then spread a layer of creamcheese on each side with a dab of jam in the middle

Dinner – Pesto veggie quesadillas
On a whole grain tortilla spread about a tbsp of your favourite pesto. Add diced tomato, slices of bell peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and whatever veg your family likes. Top with a layer of cheese and a second tortilla. Cook in a large pan over medium low until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melty gooey. I served these with plain yogurt and salsa for dipping

Tuesday

Breakfast – Waffles
When my hubbers is in town I make a massive batch and then freeze what we don’t eat. They turn out perfect in the toaster and I know exactly what’s in them. For this batch I had diced up cooked sausage thrown it into the batter. It made them a perfect breakfast and tasted delicious!

Lunch -Picky plates
Basically this is a plate of whatever’s in the fridge in little bits. I used: crackers, slices of cheese, some sliced deli meat, cut apple, pickles, red pepper and cucumber. My son loves getting a little of everything

Thanksgiving Grill Cheese

Thanksgiving Grill Cheese

Dinner – A grill cheese version of Thanksgiving
I made grill cheese with sliced deli turkey and a spread of cranberry sauce with white cheddar. They were awesome. On the side I had roasted carrot, potato and sweet potato fries, so it was like a thanksgiving dinner minus the 10 million hours of work.

Wednesday

Breakfast – Eggy Bagels
I found these little whole wheat bagels at Superstore and used them for a cute little breakfast sandwich. I cut the bagels in half and placed a slice of cheese on the bottom half. Then the bagels were toasted in the oven getting the cheese melted. I made scrambled eggs and then layered the eggs on top of the cheese with a slice of tomato.

Lunch – Tuna sandwiches with strawberries

Dinner – BLT salad with pesto chicken
I used chicken tenders and rubbed a few tbsps of pesto on them then quickly cooked them on the bbq. While they were cooking I crisped up some sliced bacon, diced a tomato and opened up my salad greens. It made a great yummy salad that took 15 minutes and was devoured by my bacoholic son.

Thursday

Breakfast – Waffles again

Lunch – Ham sandwiches and cut veggies

Dinner – Chicken tacos
My wonderful other mother had us for dinner and she even made the tortillas. I plan on learning this skill as they are a zillion times better then any I buy. The tacos were filled with cooked chicken, diced tomato, grated cheese, lettuce and a little hot sauce for the older folk

Friday

Breakfast – Breakfast burritos
Scramble a few egg then in warmed tortillas (unfortunately not home made) layer the eggs with grated cheese, lettuce and tomato. A great breakfast to take on the go too.

Lunch – Mini bagel sandwiches with sliced apples

Dinner – Pork cutlets with garlicky lemon past and steamed broccoli
The pork recipe will be up in a few hours. I used a spaghetti noodle cooked al dente (still has a bit of bone, my hubby would say). Once drained I added a tbsp of butter, 1 clove finely diced garlic, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 3 tbsp plain yogurt or sour cream. This was a huge hit with the littles

Saturday

Breakfast – Cheerios with sliced banana

Lunch – Leftovers

Bhan mi burger

Bhan mi burger

Dinner – Banh Mi inspired burgers with salad
A banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich loaded with flavour. I took inspiration from this and made a pork burger that is unique and inexpensive

Sunday – Bagels with cream cheese and fruit slices

Lunch – Tuna sandwiches

Dinner – I had a memorial to attend an hour away so unfortunately dinner was on the road but Daniel had a lovely stir fry at Oma and Opas:)

So that’s what we ate last week. Easy healthy meals that I was able to get to the table despite the two kids running/crawling around being crazy. A feat I am pretty proud of. Hope these ideas make your week a little easier and I’d love to hear about how you feed your crew. I also share some of these meals that aren’t quite a recipe on my Facebook page My Weekly Dish. You can “like’ me to get recipes, posts and quick meal ideas

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