Monthly Archives: February 2012

SRC: Healthy Delicious’ Shaved Asparagus Salad with Bacon and Havarti

For February’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Lauren of Healthy Delicious. It was SO HARD to choose just one thing to make as there are so many ridiculously delicious looking recipes on Lauren’s blog! I had a bit of a pinning fest including: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Taco Casserole, Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage and Turkey, and Chicken and Spaetzle Soup. She also has a section called “cooking for one,” where she shares recipes that are perfect to make when it’s just you for dinner.

In the end, I chose to make her shaved asparagus salad with bacon and havarti. Naturally gluten free, naturally scrumptious and with bacon, it’s sure to be a hit with Mr. Bean. And it was! He was sad that I had kept some separate to photograph it. The flavours really complemented each other well and I have to admit that I was also a bit sad when I finished my salad, too!

I did make a few changes – Lauren’s original salad comes with poached eggs, but since we were having something else with dinner, I decided not to include them. I also add some red onion slices that had been sauteed in the bacon grease and only used about half the amount of dressing the recipe called for. Even with the changes, the salad was amazing!

Please make sure that you check out all the recipes from everyone else in Group D!


Also shared at: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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Fancy Mac N’ Cheese with Elk, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Gruyere

I know I haven’t had much presence on the interwebs in the last month or so because of my new job. It’s really only recently that I’ve felt inspired enough to actually do things other than eat, sleep, go to work, go to all the other extracurricular activities and commitments and occasionally go to the gym. It’s getting better as I slowly get into the rhythm of things and get used to getting up early. Today, I felt a bit more inspired to photograph this dinner that Mr. Bean made instead of just eating it and moving on, so I have a recipe to share.

Last Saturday, Mr. Bean and I went to a “locavore” restaurant in Calgary called The District. One of the items on the menu was a very delicious sounding “Venison, Mushroom, Tomato and Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese.” Mr. Bean ended up ordering something else (I couldn’t eat it regardless), but we decided that it sounded like something we would like to try making ourselves. Unfortunately, it sounded like something that wouldn’t really work as a weeknight meal (even though in the end, it took about 45 minutes to put it together), so we’d have to wait to try it on a weekend.

Fast forward to today: we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market to get some tasty carrots (WAAAAAY better than the ones you get at the grocery store) and decided to also pick up some ground elk and some Alberta made Gruyère cheese in hopes of making it for dinner tonight. It did not disappoint as it was very delicious! Not really a low-calorie meal, but it’s definitely perfect for a splurge that still comes with vegetables!

Fancy Elk, Mushroom and Tomato Gruyère Mac N’ Cheese

1/2+ lb. Ground elk (or other ground meat)
1 1/2 – 2 c. Mushrooms, diced (we used a mixture of white, Portobello and oyster mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
Butter
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1/3 – 1/2 c. each Cream and/or Milk
Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
1+ c. finely grated Gruyère cheese
1/2+ lb. brown rice noodles
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half

  1. Heat up butter in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until reduced and cooked through. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same frying pan, cook up the ground meat until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, set a pot of salted water to boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. While browning the meat, heat up a few tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan. Mince the garlic and add to butter and cook until garlic starts to brown.
  5. Add cream and milk to butter and garlic and stir to combine. In a measuring cup, mix together 1 – 2 tbsp of cornstarch with cold water, then add to the milk mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness.  Add more cornstarch if necessary.
  6. Stir in about 2/3 – 3/4 of the grated cheese until melted.
  7. Place the noodles, meat and mushroom mixture in the same pot that you cooked the noodles in. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until evenly coated.
  8. Spoon onto plates and serve with cut tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried to recreate something you saw in a restaurant? How did it turn out?

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Camera Phone Dump

I haven’t really been very good at taking photos on my phone as I haven’t been terribly impressed with its camera. I think it’s getting better as I get more used to it, but most of the time I just forget! Here are most of the photos I’ve taken since I’ve gotten my phone at the beginning of January:

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My first pathetic attempt to take a low light photo on my walk to work the other morning. Taking photos with my camera phone really makes me miss my actual camera!

A few days later, I figured out how to change the exposure compensation and tried to capture more what it looked like. But in real life, it looked way nicer and way more vibrant!

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I didn’t catch this sunrise at its peak – I was currently sitting on the bus at that time – but it was still super pretty and pink.

Now for some really terrible photos from a few weeks ago:

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Mr Bean and I decided to visit with her a few weeks ago. She’s been super happy with all the warm weather we’ve been having.

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Apparently I’m not that great at taking self portraits. Practise makes perfect, I guess!

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Before I started work I got my hair cut. I really liked it, but now that it’s six weeks later (how the heck did that happen?!), I need to get my bangs trimmed and hair re-dyed. The nature of the beast, I guess.

How often do you use your camera phone?

 

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