Author: Melissa

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! This year, I went all out and cooked a delicious Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate the holiday. I mean, do I never not go all out for holiday cooking?! Our dinner consisted of two appetizers, three side dishes, one main, and one dessert. Now I know you must be thinking that that’s a lot of food for just David and I, but this year we had some help from a few special family members that were visiting us on Vancouver Island. Plus, we ate leftovers for about 4 days afterwards! If you are curious as to what we ate, and to get some ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner (especially my American friends), read on down below OR watch my YouTube video to see how to make these recipes and get some helpful entertaining tips! Appetizers Miso-Kabocha Squash Dip Apart from being vegan and gluten-free, this appetizer was absolutely delicious! The combination of the sweet squash and salty miso are a perfect pairing–especially this time of year. I served this …

Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce

For my final recipe in my #BackToSchool series, I made a wonderful homemade version of a childhood classic… Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce. You could say I saved the best recipe for last! Now I know we have all had frozen chicken strips before. There are varying qualities that are on the market, but I guarantee that this homemade version will blow all of them right out of the water! Not only are they made with natural, whole ingredients, they are baked and not fried. Honestly just by looking at them (and smelling and tasting them) you can’t notice a difference! I have made a lot of chicken strips in my day, and I have experimented with many marinades, breadings, and cooking methods. This recipe combines all of my knowledge from YEARS of making chicken strips, and I am willing to give up all of my secrets to you! Secret #1: Breadcrumbs My first secret is the breadcrumbs and this is actually the most critical part of the chicken strip in my opinion. I …

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

I am back again with another recipe in my #BackToSchool series! For my fourth installment, I have a quick and easy stir fry recipe that you will love–Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry! I’m serious…you will make this over and over again! I am such a huge fan of broccoli. It’s fantastic it steamed, raw, in soup, baked…you name it! I really love it in this classic Asian stir fry since the broccoli florets really help cling onto and absorb the delicious steak marinade that I make from scratch. My Secret Ingredient to Tender Beef This marinade is what makes this recipe so good. Plus, I add a not-so-secret ingredient in it that makes the beef super tender, light, and fluffy–just like at Chinese restaurants. The secret to getting the beef (or any meat for that matter) to get that texture is….wait for it…baking soda. I know, I couldn’t believe it either until I tried it! The baking soda acts to tenderize the beef and give it that light and airy texture. For that reason, this enables …

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches

I am back again with another great recipe for my #BackToSchool series. If you are returning to school, or are just trying to get back into your work routine, then these recipes will really help you out! They are quick, simple and can be enjoyed by both adults and children. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know from my stories that I have recently begun meal prepping my food for the week. I have never done meal prep before, but I have been fairly busy lately and have found myself struggling to eat well-balanced meals throughout the week. Plus, having to clean up after every meal is a bit of a slag, so I wanted to test out this concept of meal prep. I can say that from just being two weeks into it, I am in LOVE! Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, I just find that during the week it’s a bit too much work! The prep, the cooking and the clean up? No thanks. I’d rather be out gardening, …

Garlic Butter Salmon

I am back again with another great recipe for my #BackToSchool series. If you are returning to school, or are just trying to get back into your work routine, then these recipes will really help you out! They are quick, simple and can be enjoyed by both adults and children. For today’s recipe, I have come up with a super simple Garlic Butter Salmon. This salmon filet is baked in a parchment paper package in the oven to keep it juicy and succulent. The addition of a homemade garlic butter makes this recipe extra delicious and adds lots of moisture to the salmon as it cooks. All Wrapped Up This Garlic Butter Salmon is very easy to make. Simply combine butter, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a bowl and mix everything until combined. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the salmon filet and wrap everything up in a nice parchment paper package. Once the salmon is all wrapped up, just bake it in the oven for 20 minutes or so! You barely have …

Penne alla Rosé

Today, I am kicking off my #BackToSchool series on my blog! This time of the year can be super busy, and after a long day, the last thing you want to do is make dinner. Lucky for you, I have come up with a week’s worth of recipes to get you back into your school (or work) routine. These meals are all very quick, healthy, and taste delicious! For my first recipe, I have made a delicious Penne alla Rosé. Now this sounds fancy, but this is essentially just pasta with a creamy tomato sauce. A few simple additions make this pasta incredibly delicious, and the best part is that this whole recipe can be made in just 15 minutes! I know…I can’t believe it either! How to Pull Off this Recipe in 15 Minutes… This Penne alla Rosé recipe requires a bit of multi-tasking, but I can hardly call it that since you don’t have to do too much work when boiling pasta. Once your pasta is in the pot and boiling, you can …

Italian Fig Salad

In the midst of summer, it is easy to turn to simple salad recipes. They don’t require any cooking or any intense preparation, and can be assembled (and eaten!) within minutes. Plus, a nice cool salad is perfectly refreshing on a warm summer day! Move Over Lettuce Leaves… While I eat lots of green salads, I like to mix things up once in a while to enjoy a more decadent salad. Because lettuce leaves are not always that filling!  I tend to lean towards more composed salads that use some fancier ingredients. Mozzarella and prosciutto are definitely very decadent, and I could probably just eat these two on their own. But adding in some sweet summer figs and basil make this salad a bit healthier and really bring the flavours together. Topped with some creamy olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and you have a fantastic Italian-inspired summer salad! Supporting Local  I picked up my fresh mozzarella and prosciutto from my favourite Italian shop in Victoria, Italian Food Imports. They have a great …

Summer Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia

One of the best ways to tell that summer is here (other than the heat) is all the fresh garden produce that is available. I’m so happy to see fresh cucumber, zucchini, beans, figs, and my all time favourite: tomatoes! You can’t beat sweet, juicy and incredibly flavourful, summer tomatoes! Whether they are red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, or fancy heirloom tomatoes, you have to gorge yourself on them while they are in season! Plus, since they are so easy to grow and have a high crop yield, they end up being dirt cheap at the grocery stores during the summer! I’m all for that! Tomatoes are an incredibly versatile fruit and can be prepared in many ways. You can simply eat them fresh with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper, make them into tomato sauce to serve with pasta, or even dry them out to make sundried tomatoes. The possibilities are literally endless with tomatoes! But no matter which way you prepare them, they will always pair perfectly …

What to Eat at the Richmond Night Market

Every summer, millions of people make their way to enjoy the Richmond Night Market. This world-famous international night market is the largest in North America and is well known for the delicious international food and fun carnival entertainment. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening with your friends, family, or even a date! Creative & Tasty Food at the Richmond Night Market Last weekend, David and I made our annual trip to Richmond, B.C. to check out the Night Market. While the entertainment is fun, we mainly go there for the delicious food …obviously 😛 We love that there are so many food vendors that get super creative and think outside the box, and that it’s not just regular carnival or festival food that is available. We always discover something new every year and also enjoy the tried-and-true Richmond Night Market classics! Read on below to see what we ate at this year’s Richmond Night Market, along with some useful tips, and our must-trys for 2019! Crazy Zhang- The King of BBQ From …

DIY Garden Fence (for under $30)

As you may have seen from my previous Home & Garden post, we have started a vegetable garden at our new home. We are growing tons of fruits and vegetables including beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, peas, raspberries, blueberries, and even lemons!  While we have been working hard on maintaining and tending to our garden, we were at risk of not being able to enjoy the fruits of our labour. We had noticed that something was coming into our garden, picking a piece of fruit, taking one bite out of it, and just leaving it to rot. Like I know you’re hungry, but at least eat the whole thing!  After wondering what it could be for a few days, we caught the little culprits in the act one evening after work! It turns out that a family of pesky squirrels had been getting into our garden and wreaking havoc on our fruits and veggies! Knowing that we had to stop these little critters from getting in, we built a garden fence to border our raised garden …