Friday, April 24, 2009

Grilled Marinated Veggies and Shrimp

Last weekend Geoff and I finished exams and had the chance to escape up to my family's cottage for the weekend. Two out of three days it was rainy and cold and gross, but on Sunday it was gorgeous. Sunny, warm, no wind, 15C. Perfect spring weather. Finally BBQ season has commenced.

We went to the grocery store in town and picked up some shrimp (mom, just so you know we didn't even raid the freezer at the cottage... and there was A LOT of shrimp in there) and some vegetables.

The shrimp was probably the best shrimp we have ever made. It's way better than in a frying pan. WAY better. And of course the vegetables were really good too.

It was such an easy and fast meal that I plan on making again and again all summer now that I can finally uncover my own barbecue here in Ottawa.

1 zucchini, sliced
2 bell peppers of your preferred colour cut into large chunks
1/2 of a large egg plant cut into slices then quartered
Bag of 21-24 sized shrimp
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Wooden Skewers
BBQ grill pan

  1. Soak skewers in water (this will prevent them from burning on the BBQ)
  2. Mix 2 parts oil with 1 part vinegar in a large Ziploc baggy or a large bowl. Add in whatever spices you like (we used rosemary and thyme pluse some others that I can't remember... I just open jars and smelled, using whatever I liked at the time), 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, fresh ground pepper. Make sure you mix it up well
  3. Add veggies into the baggy or bowl and cover with the marinade. Let sit at least 20-30 minutes
  4. Heat up the BBQ
  5. Peel shrimp and impale them on the skewers. About 4 shrimp should fit on a skewer. Brush the shrimp with a mixture of 1 clove garlic and 3-4 tbsp melted butter.
  6. First put the vegetables on the BBQ grill pan on the bbq and grill until almost done
  7. put shrimp right onto the grill. Should take 1-2 minutes per side. Flip when the first side turns pink
  8. Serve!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Salmon with Dijon-Dill Sauce

We were rummaging through the freezer and found some salmon steaks that we thought we'd finished. As it was already late and we were ridiculously hungry, we came up with this deliciously light meal that didn't take more than 10 minutes to put together.

We had some extra tomatoes that needed to be eaten so we made a small salad to go with the salmon. Our final touch was to fry up some mushrooms and drizzle the bed of veggies in our balsamic dressing. The bite of the salad dressing and the Dijon-dill sauce complemented each other perfectly so we could attack everything at once when we finally sat down to eat!

2 Salmon Steaks
2 Handfulls of fresh baby spinach
1 Tomato - sliced
1 small hand full of mushrooms
1 Knob of butter
1 tbsp of Dill Weed
1/3 cup of Sour Cream
3 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic - minced

For the sauce:
Mix the dill, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic into the sour cream.

For the salmon:
Brush melted butter onto salmon and fry until cooked through. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry mushrooms in butter until softened. Spread the spinach on the plate and top with the tomatoes and mushrooms and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Place the salmon on top and cover liberally with the sauce and enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fannie Farmer's Calming Creamy Tomato Soup

I promise you, this soup is the best cream of tomato soup you will ever have. I had it for the first time a few summer's ago when I failed to get a summer job and decided to start my own business for the summer. I would go to my grandmother's every day for lunch. There was always a different type of soup and usually salad plus a sandwich or some chicken or left overs from the night before.

One day she pulled out her Fannie Farmer's cookbook (which is the best cookbook ever and will teach you everything you need to know to feed yourself well for the rest of your life and still be extremely satisfied and impressed) and made up this soup in less than 20 minutes. The cookbook describes the soup as being "calming" and it really is. After every bowl of this soup I am ready for a nap or to go to bed. NOthing else matters when you have this soup. It's that good.

Last week Geoff and I decided we were going to make it. Geoff had never tried this soup before and I had been talking about it probably since I met him. He fell in love with it. There was complete silence as we ate. There were no words to describe how fulfilling this soup is. I strongly encourage you to make it and to buy the Fannie Farmer cookbook yourself.

1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped up
1 tsp salt
1tsp sugar
4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 cups of milk (we only used 3 because we ran out of milk and it was REALLY good)
1/3 cup butter
freshly ground pepper to taste
dried parsley for looks

  1. Open the can of diced tomatoes and stir in the baking soda and set aside (the baking soda prevents the acid in the tomatoes from making the milk curdle)
  2. Melt the butter in a pot big enough to hold all of the ingredients
  3. Add the onions, cook until softened and translucent
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir (you've just made a roux!)
  5. Turn the burner up to medium or medium - high heat
  6. Add the salt, and sugar. Slowly add the milk into the pot, heat (but don't boil!) until slightly thickened
  7. Stir in the tomatoes. Heat until at desired temperature and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lemon-Shrimp Pasta

While browsing through tastespotting (or maybe foodgawker) we saw a recipe with garlic shrimp and orzo pasta. It looked really tasty and after cleaning out the freezer, we found that there was 3 bags of shrimp stashed away from months ago so we gave it our own spin.

I'm not sure who originally posted the recipe but we used it as a starter for our own. The original didn't have any veggies and we had several lemons sitting in the fridge so we made our best attempt at customizing this recipe.


1 - 1 + 1/2 cups of Orzo pasta depending on how hungry you are
2 tsp diced garlic
2 big handfuls of baby spinach, washed
an assortment of mushrooms, cleaned (we had 3 or 4 different kinds)
lemon juice
3 tbsp butter
peeled and deveined shrimp
olive oil

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it and add pasta (should take about 10 minutes to cook)
  2. In a frying pan, add 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp garlic and saute the mushrooms until they soften a bit. Then add spinach until wilted
  3. Meanwhile, in another pan, melt remaining butter and add remaining garlic. Add shrimp, squeeze 1/2 of a lemon's worth of juice on top. Cook shrimp 1-2 minutes per side
  4. Pasta should be done, drain, mix in a little olive oil, mix in veggies and shrimp. Add as much parsley as you like to make it prettier.


Geoff is going to be doing so much zesting!

Thanks mom!