Pad Thai

Last weekend, my friend made me Pad Thai. It was a pre-prepared sauce mix, but it was sooooo good! I didn’t realized I liked Pad Thai so much, and so, of course, I had to make it from scratch, now that I’ve tried a simpler, store bought version.

DSC05146This recipe did require many steps and lots of dishes, but I think Justin didn’t mind all too much, considering I was making him an incredible meal from scratch!

DSC05147First step was to chop up the chicken and marinade it in soy sauce and fish sauce.

DSC05148Then it was time to make the Pad Thai sauce. Fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar,  brown sugar, chicken broth and cayenne pepper. Hmm!

DSC05149Next, chop up an onion.

DSC05150Mince some garlic and ginger, and add your snap peas.

DSC05151While you’re doing all this chopping, boil some water and throw your rice noodles into a heat proof bowl. Once the water is boiling, pour it over the noodles and let sit for 5-8 mins.

DSC05152When they are ready, rinse them under cool water to prevent them from sticking together.

DSC05154Saute the onions, garlic, ginger and snap peas until they are crispy, but cooked.

DSC05155Add in your chicken and cook until no longer pink, then add the shrimp and cook until they just turn pink.

DSC05156Throw your noodles into the mix and mix until they are well coated.

DSC05157Your meal should look like this!

DSC05159Serve with bean sprouts and covered with chopped peanuts. This is definitely being added to a new favourite meal list!

Pad Thai

You will need:

  • 1 package of Thai rice noodles linguini-width
  • 2 chopped chicken breasts (Marinade: 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp fish sauce)
  • 10 tiger shrimp, peeled, tails removed.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups fresh snap peas
  • 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts
  • 3 cups fresh bean sprouts

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup good-tasting chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp.white vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place chopped chicken in a bowl and toss with soy and fish sauce (1.5 Tbsp). Set aside. Combine Pad Thai Sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in rice noodles and switch off heat. Allow noodles to soak approximately 5-8 mins. Drain and rinse noodles briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in some vegetable oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, onion, ginger and snap peas. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add marinated chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, continuing to stir-fry until they turn pink and chicken is no longer pink (2-3 minutes). Add the rest of the Pad Thai sauce into the pan. Using two utensils, lift and turn noodles with other ingredients. Heat until sauce and noodles are warmed.

Fold in bean sprouts. Top with crushed peanuts. Enjoy, a lot!


My Canadian Love Affair

As part of the Canadian Food Experience Project this month, we are all writing about our Canadian love affairs. I find it tough to write about how much I love this place, when my backyard is covered in snow, my skin is cracking and peeling, and I am so fed up with winter that all I can do it crumble about it. But rather than being a sourpus and making you all read about it (now wouldn’t that be a lovely post?), I am going to write about my favourite things, right now. I’m talking vendors, products, shops… etc. That’ll make me a little more hopeful for those lovely spring buds.

First things first. As I sit and write this, I am sipping a lovely, velvety thick hot chocolate from Choklat. They claim to be the only chocolate maker in Alberta (which I’m not so sure about… doesn’t Jacek and Bernard Callebault make their own chocolates? Or is that not the same thing?) Whatever. It’s gooooooooooood. Their hot choclates are so thick and spiced that it coats your tongue with awesome, making you crave more the second it’s gone. (I’ve been there twice in the past week). It’s melting my hard, cold exterior from the inside out and making me feel more positive with every sip. Try it. You won’t regret it!


The Blue whip cream is a nice touch, too!

DSC04694Another great product I love it mighty trio. First off, Emily and Sean are fantastic people. Working across from them at Strathcona for a year really gave me an appreciation for how hard they work. Also, their kids are CUTE! Anyway, their canola oil is a staple at our place. I use it all the time. It’s got a great flavour and nice colour. It’s great!

DSC04697Another fav: Elaine Wilson’s Food You Can Cook. Her sauces and spices make any meal just that much better. I’ve got a whole bunch of her dried spices in the cupboard right now (Try the smoky asado. Now. Do it!) I also just really appreciate her love of fresh, readily available ingredients. She always takes care of her customers, making sure they get exactly what they are looking for. Props, Elaine.

DSC05051 DSC04282Finally, and of course you guessed it, Gold Forest Grains products. It might be because I was surrounded by John’s products for a year, or it might just be because they are truly awesome, but I love everything he comes up with. I use his oats, flour, barley and lentils on a regular basis. Using local grains make me feel more connected to my community and my province. Also, I’ve been graving cinnamon bunch and rich, creamy steel cut oats. Maybe it’s the weather. Yep. I think I’ll be making some thing weekend!

So, these are my favourite things. Hopefully, they’ll take me to spring.

Creamy Cauliflower and Shrimp Alfredo

Ah Cauliflower. It has appeared to have become the new “It” veggie, and thank goodness, too! Kale tastes like feet, so I’m happy to see a tasty, cancer fighting cruciferous veggie taking the spotlight for a while.

DSC05089I think I might try my hand at growing some of these bad boys this summer!

DSC05090I started off my pan frying some seasoned cauliflower florets in a pan with some olive oil.

DSC05092I cooked it down until it was nice and mushy.

DSC05093Then into the food processor it all went!

DSC05094Until it was blended to perfection.

DSC05095I felt like this tasty pasta needed some texture, so I seasoned up some shrimp and cooked them in a pan, until slightly pink.

DSC05096Once all the cauliflower was pureed, it was time to add the milk and cheese.

DSC05097Stir until fully incorporated.

DSC05098I added it back to the pan to fully stir it around.

DSC05099Serve on top of pasta and enjoy, a lot!

Creamy Cauliflower and Shrimp Alfredo (Adapted from a Pinch of Yum)

You will need:

  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cup milk
  • 1.5 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 shrimp, peeled, tails removed
  • 1 box pasta

Boil water for your pasta. Begin by separating your cauliflower head into florets. Melt butter or heat oil in pan and cook cauliflower until it is tender. Add garlic and cook down some more. Transfer to your food processor and puree until smooth. Add cauliflower to a heatproof bowl and add Parmesan cheese and milk. Stir until evenly combined. Cook shrimp in the same pan as the cauliflower, until lightly pink. Add sauce back into pan with shrimp and coat the shrimp evenly. Once pasta is cooked, serve sauce over top, with extra Parmesan, if you wish.

Who gives a F$#@ Granola Bars

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking: Jacquie doesn’t normally use quite such colourful language when writing her posts. Well, when I made these granola bars, I was seriously channeling some Thug Kitchen, and I had to have it come across. Also, I told Justin that is what they were called, and he made me promise to call them that on my blog. So here we are, with who gives a F%#@ Granola Bars.

DSC05100Firsts things first, go to your pantry and take a look at all of the grains or pantry items that you have a tiny bit left of. I’m talking oatmeal packs, cereal boxes, puffed wheat, graham crackers… whatever. Pull it all out and get read to assemble.

DSC05101Mix your honey and peanut putter and get ready to dump in your ingredients.

DSC05102I decided to toast my oats and sesame seeds in the oven for a little while before adding them to the mix.

DSC05103I also decided it would be a good idea to break up the graham crackers and peanuts before dumping them into the base. I used my trusty food processor.

DSC05105Add your ingredients to the mix.

DSC05106Make sure that everything gets really coated well.

DSC05107Add it to a baking dish, lined with wax paper.

DSC05108I sprinkled the bars with white yogurt and milk chocolate chips, for some extra sweetness.

DSC05110Then I diced it into bar sizes.

DSC05111For extra portability, I even wrapped the bars in wax paper. Perfect for that afternoon or morning snack.

Jacquie’s Who Gives a F%$@ Granola Bars

You will need:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup honey

2 cups of whatever dry ingredients you have in the cupboard. (I used cheerios, some old granola, sesame seeds, graham crackers and peanuts.)

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat peanut butter in microwave for 30 seconds, until runny. Mix well with honey. Add dry ingredients, stir until evenly coated. Press into a baking pan. top with chocolate chips. Chop into bar-sized servings. Wrap individually with wax paper. Enjoy!