Merry Christmas!

Last year here on Vancouver Island we had a snowy Christmas and went sledding. this was the view from the top of the huge hill! It was so beautiful and so much fun.

I just wanted wish you all the best this holiday season and thank you for all of your support this year. The 29th of December will be my 1st anniversary and I am so excited!

Thank you!

Profiteroles filled with Chocolate Mousse

I don't make a lot of desserts but it was my gentleman friends birthday on Friday so I decided to make a special sweet something. What is great about this recipe is that it would also be a great make ahead for Christmas. I made a big bowl of these and then took them up with us to the local ski mountain for a week end getaway. Lucky Birthday Boy! and they traveled quite well.
First I began with Profiteroles, I used this recipe from Joy of Baking. Just the Choux part of the recipe. I was surprised at how easy it was. These have a great wow factor, look like they took a million years to make but are actually reminded me of making Yorkshire puddings, except with a little bit of Elbow grease! Here is what the profiteroles will look like:

This is kind of a lazy post because I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen to make the Chocolate Mousse. Ever since I saw it I have wanted to make it. I had some in a glass with Raspberries, and it was amazing!

How is that for a close up? It was airy and rich all at the same time. As there is no sugar except what is in the chocolate it wasn' t very sweet, just pure creamy chocolate flavour!
Deb used pics just after making it and it will look goopy like that but it will look like this after it has set overnight, or really just a few hours.

I also piped some into the afore mentioned profiteroles, Drum roll please....
Here they are:


I also whipped 1 cup of cream with splash of Kahlua and filled some just to add
a difference is flavor and texture. Both were extreme hits!

Simple Sesame Salmon

I bet you thought I wasn't going to post a recipe this week?
Ha! Tricked You!
I thought I would post something simple and delicious.
As I made note of I try to eat alot of fish, and because I catch my own it is very inexpensive.
I am a pretty lucky girl to have such fresh fish available! This is a recipe, well more of a method as I won't be including any specific measurements, that I go back to again and again, which isn't something I do very often. So here it is:

I like to take a portion of Salmon and crust the skin with Sesame Seeds, this time I used mostly black. I just sprinkle them onto the moist skin and then place in a buttered medium hot skillet. Somewhere in between the middle and high and put a loose lid on it, this will allow the skin to crisp which is the main goal, and the top to steam a bit. Once it is almost done I give it a flip and add a splash of sesame oil and soy sauce and let the other side brown until it is at the done-ness of your liking. I like mine a little rare in the middle. Then I topped with some chopped green onion and ate it with stir fry of mushrooms and Bok Choy. Simple and Delicious!

Another great thing about eating this is the crispy skin. You can do this with almost any type of fish available to you, and its so great because there are a lot of Omega Oils in the skin and if we bake fish we don't often get to enjoy it.

My food feelings

I have been writing this blog for almost 1 year now and I feel that its time to be honest with you. When it comes to me I am basically an open book, but there is something that we have not yet discussed. Eating. Yes we've talked about eating what I have shown you, but not the essence of it, nor the principal. So here we are.

For quite a long while I have been reading food blogs, of course this led to an 'I can do that" moment which led to the blog and which led to this post and so on, but long before reading food blogs I began eating and then cooking. I grew up in a home where we ate Chicken Rice and Corn every night for at least 4 years, then we began to see variations including Chicken Rice and Salad, Salmon Rice and Salad, and the occasional pasta dish. Always with an emphasis on a protein, a starch and a vegetable. To this day I rarely make the same dish twice and am only now realizing that it is probably in part to the monotony that I was once a part of, before I had control of what I eat.

Well now I have control, and I am always searching for ideas to create food that is both healthy and tasty. I have a few different views on eating and here they are:

#1 Meat:
Honestly, I try to stay away from meat. Its not always easy, and I don't beat my self up if I do, I just try not to. I eat a lot of fish; however only fish that I have caught - YES I am an excellent fisher-woman and the majority of what little meat that I eat is wild game; from my father in law. I don't like how I feel when I eat commercial meat, physically and energetically. I don't know what those animals have eaten, what kind of life they have had, what hormones or chemicals have been fed to them. I just don't want to put that in my body. In the name of honesty I will admit sometimes I give in due to convenience but I try to stay away as much as I can. This is not to say that I eat any sort of Soy. Soy scares me, not because of the taste but it too is so far processed that you just can't try and tell me that its good for me.

#2 Vegetables
I eat as many of these as I can! I love them and there are so many varieties, and so many ways to prepare them I rarely get bored.

#3 Moderation
I love sweet treats.
I love french fries.
I love rich creamy pasta.
And I figure that if I eat healthy the majority of the time, I may as well go all out when I prepare something rich. If I am going to make a creamy pasta I will use full fat cream and butter, if I have some pie; I will enjoy it with full fat ice cream or whipped cream. I am not going to settle for a less good version of something indulgent.

#4 Convienience Foods
I hate them. Some of them might taste alright, but I have already expressed how I feel about not knowing what is in my meat, well if I don't know what might be in the whole thing forget it! I would rather make a big old pile of food at once and eat the left overs for lunch, or freeze it for later then eat one of those microwavable meals. Yuck!! I will go as far as buying canned whole tomatoes, or marinated artichoke hearts but that is as far processed as I go.

#5 Questions, Questions
I do have several food related questions. Here is what I have been stuck on lately, what is the best way to eat? I have read on Veganism, Vegetarianism, even raw food appeals to me, and while they all seem to have great points I think I would have a hard time committing as I love food. All kinds.

Here is my other burning question: Do other food bloggers eat what they blog about all of the time? Or do they make really great things once or twice a week, just enough to blog about?

Cozy Cabbage Rolls

Here we are in the heart of fall; this time of year I always crave comfort food and what is more comforting then a warm meal that comes out of the oven? Mmmmm.... Cabbage Rolls. The epitomy of Ukrainian comfort food.

Often I find that people use too much ground meat and make them very large. So I went about an experiment. I made two different kinds of Cabbage Rolls, 1 that was made of ground meat and the other that was made of sauteed mushrooms. The both have the same ingredients other then the meat/ mushroom can you tell which is which:

They look very similar and oddly enough they didn't taste all that different either. I suggest mixing them up in a casserole dish if you are trying to cut down on red meat. I had to make both because of my meat eating partner. I enjoy meat too, but often opt to not partake and am always looking for ways to reduce meat with out having to substitute with a freaky soy product. These were both really good, even my meat eating partner had a hard time figuring out which was which! Here is the recipe:

1 large heat of cabbage
1/4 lb ground beef (the small package) or 1 lb mushrooms finely chopped and sauteed
1 carrot finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 onions finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic
3 cups of cooked rice (whatever floats your boat)
2 eggs
medium pinch of rosemary
large pinch of salt & pep

1 jumbo or 2 - 3 regular cans of whole tomatoes

First pop a whole head of cabbage into a huge pot of boiling water. Martha says not to use an aluminum pot... I think that my pot is aluminum and they worked, but it could be something else. Feel free to take the risk if you must. Other people remove each leaf first and then boiled them separately. I just threw the whole thing in, accidentally forgot about it and them took it out. It was cooked through and the outer leaves weren't very pretty but the rest was great. Let it cool and then remove each leaf and set aside.

Then begin making rice. Just follow the package directions. Then move on to chopping the mushrooms (actually I ran them through a food pro until they were fairly finely chopped - you do need a little texture) and begin sauteing them with some Olive Oil and pepper (leave the salt out). In the meantime finely chop the celery, carrots, garlic and onions, again I used the food pro, if you choose to do this make sure that you do it in small batches, or else you will get a puree and you want more like pieces that are the size of rice grains, or a little bigger. Divide the chopped veggies into two bowls. Make sure the mushrooms are sauteed to the point that they have given up most of the water, then add them to one bowl and add the beef to another. Add one egg to each bowl and 1 cup of rice, mix it in and then decide if you want to add more rice. I went for it, but you might not want to and in the end you will be eating it so go ahead and do what you must!
This is how each looks, bad light I know but you get the idea!

Now you will want to empty your cans of tomatoes into a juice jug or bowl and whiz with a hand blender. I added a small handful of salt pepper, and a little less rosemary. Whiz until it is a smooth sauce.

Now assemble! Pour a little sauce into a casserole dish, take one cabbage leaf. If it is a big leaf, remove the bottom v shape of the stem, just the hard part so you end up with a small v out of your leaf. You can leave it in but it is trickier to roll. Just do whatever works for you. Add some filling to one side of the leaf and roll it up. Add to the dish and repeat until you are done. Top with a bit more of the sauce, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour.
I serve mine with sour cream. Yum!!