Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Faux Pho

This recipe for a version of pho (Vietnamese soup) is the result of a dinner gone wrong the night before.

I guess it wasn't a total failure. I had a plan of making a nice Sunday dinner of roast chicken. Now, it is important to note that on this particular Sunday the Oscar's were on.   I love this night. I take over the TV at 6pm to watch the red carpet show on E!
Being a rookie when it come to roast chicken, I put it in the oven way too late. At 6pm (I know, shouldn't I be on the couch by now) I take the chicken out, check internal temperature and determine it done. I throw my two sides into the oven (both of which were really tasty and I will post about later). We are now at 6:30... sides are done, let's carve this chicken. Upon the first slice into the chicken it was apparent it was NOT ready! At this point all I could think of were the celebs and dresses I was missing on the red carpet so I loaded my plate with my sides and headed to the TV.  Long story short, I roasted the breast and legs for lunchtime sandwiches and made stock out of the carcass.

Back to my faux pho. This isn't so much of a recipe as an idea.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Energy bars

These are my Mocha Macademia Madness energy bars. They won first prize for taste...and second prize for appearance...at a prestigious energy bar making contest held at a friends house last weekend.

Every Sunday I make a batch of these. I bring two in my lunch each day and they make a great mid morning and afternoon snack. On a 90 minute run the other day I brought half bar and it went down easy. The espresso adds a nice boost:)

I originally found a recipe for Big Sur Powerbars on the 101 cookbooks site. I made that version a few times then decided to branch out. I have a bunch of ideas for different varieties and will post when I test them out. My next trial will be Apple Chai Spice.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Asparagus "Risotto" with Barley

I love risotto. It is often my meal of choice at an Italian restaurant. However, I never make it at home. It is pretty labour intensive with adding the stock one ladle at a time. Just enough work to deter me on a weeknight.

I picked up some barley on the weekend. Although not terribly exotic, it is new to me! I am trying to experiment with new grains. I have been stuck in a rice and pasta rut and am blown away by the number of interesting grains you can get. I came across some recipes that substituted pearl barley for Arborio rice and thought about taking a risotto recipe and trying it with barley.  I settled on an asparagus and lemon risotto.  Once neat trick to use when preparing asparagus is that it has a natural break point.  This is where the woody part of the speer separates from the more tender part.  If you just bend it near the bottom of the speer, it will break at a given point