Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Planning Saga: Week Eight

Last week was certainly highlighted by adventures around town more than our 'home cooking', though the butter chicken was pretty incredible...

Sunday - Once again, a roast chicken. There's just something about it that works well on a Sunday evening.

Monday - Braised beef with mashed potatoes. Inspired by our visit to Somerville Wine and Cheese we placed this roast in the slow cooker for about four hours with red wine and tomatoes. Next time a fattier cut of beef is certainly in order, but the flavours here were great all the same.

Tuesday - Chicken and vegetable soup.

Wednesday - Italian sausages with salad and roasted veggies. Digging through (I mean... 'organizing') our freezer a couple weekends ago, we found a neglected package of sausages that we were excited to barbecue. No go - the door to our balcony was frozen solid, and this time no hair dryer could fix it. So we simply poached and pan cooked them instead.

Thursday - Alley Kat was certainly the highlight of the evening here, and afterward a stop at Langano Skies finished things off nicely.

Friday - Slow Cooker Butter Chicken from Meal Planning 101. This was the most viewed recipe on Kindra's site in 2010, and for good reason - it was simple to prepare and incredibly flavourful. There's no doubt we'll be doing this one again. We grabbed some naan from the E-Zee Market on 109th to round the meal out. (We've walked passed this place hundreds of times but only recently went in to find an incredible selection of spices, curries and other dishes made fresh daily.)

Saturday - A few things were on our minds Saturday, namely heading to Queen of Tarts to check things out, and later in the evening to Refinery at the AGA. First though, I was distracted by the excellent snowflakes falling on Saturday morning.

Leaving the snowflakes outside, we were stunned as we entered the Queen of Tarts' space. It's both beautiful and well stocked, with products from The Jam Lady, Mighty Trio and others available amongst their desserts, breads and lunch items. I urge you to check out Sharon's pictures and thoughts here. We actually ran into Sharon and Mack while there, along with Valerie, which was great. I also ran into Liz, an amazing lady who I took both baking and chocolate classes with at NAIT last year.

Before getting into the tarts themselves though, Brenna and Catherine came over for some pre-Refinery pizza. A veggie for Catherine consisted of roasted red peppers, feta, bocconcini and tomato sauce, while the rest of the discs were made into white pizzas with roasted butternut squash, sage, prosciutto, bocconcini and Gruyère (that last one was the perfect sweet salty combo and a reminder of warmer fall days). We also drank a couple beers that I intend to post on a little later.

And for dessert - the Queen of Tarts' tarts. As expected they were lovely. The lime was rich while tangy (Brenna and Catherine both swooned) and the chocolate hazelnut tart was dense and chocolate-y, with an amazing sandy, hazelnut crust. Post dessert we ventured back downtown for a couple drinks, some new exhibits and an attempt at dancing in public.

And hello week nine.


A Canadian Foodie said...

It was wonderful to see you there, too... I LOVED the pear frangipan tart. Bought the cocolate, too - to compare to the ones we made the following day at the French Tart Class (my new cooking school business) and though the Queen's was really tasty, I do believe we did her more than proud. Bene's teaching was stellar and the tarts the gals went home with were velvety and lush. Really a great way to learn to make your own. My first time learning how to use a tart ring.
The Queen is my new favourite place. I just LOVE her decor.

Marianne and Charles said...

Yum! Absolutely! I saw the class on your website and wish I could have attended. Definitely a great skill to have.

It is such a beautiful space I can't wait to return. Cheers, Valerie!

LeslieChomp said...

what a great post! I have saved the butter chicken recipe and hope to make that sometime soon... nom nom nom...

as for the Queen of Tarts- can't wait to head over there!! I've been anticipating its opening and everyone has such great things to say. I wish I wasn't so busy this week. Hopefully next week I'll get over there!

Marianne and Charles said...

Awesome, Leslie! Let me know how the butter chicken goes.

Have fun and happy eating! It's definitely worth it and it'll be a treat after a busy week :-)