Why I Hate Eating Out!

Hey everyone!

So its time for the post about why I hate eating out so much! This dislike for eating out at restaurants first started in my first year of college in 2009. When I was younger I really enjoyed going out for dinner, but as I got older and learned how to cook for myself, I really started to appreciate food. Once I started to appreciate food I realized how many restaurants make and serve bad food. Some restaurants are just mediocre, others are just downright gross, but very few do the food justice.

When I get a bad meal, it ruins my day, but so many times I go out to a restaurant expecting to get a good meal, something that I can’t make at home. But when the meal comes and the food is slimy, or too spicy, not cooked or just plain ugly, it just enforces why I don’t really like going out to restaurants! For some reason, I still go out for dinner, I think I do this because I really want to find another great place to eat, but it has yet to happen, and at least in Victoria, I don’t think it ever will.

Now after reading this you may think that I’m some kind of restaurant hater! But im not! I am just very picky when it comes to me paying somebody else to make my food. If they can’t make food taste better than I can, they shouldn’t be serving food to people! But after many years of trying different restaurants, I have found 4 or 5 that I return too regularly. Now I won’t tell you what restaurants these are, and I will never review them, they are too special to try to critique the food, or the service. To me they should just be enjoyed, not judged.

Go out and find your favorite place to eat, It may take some time, and a bunch of bad meals in between, but you will always enjoy going back to them with your friends and family! Don’t share them with to many people, keep it to your self! This is the one thing you should be selfish about!

Thanks for reading everybody! I hope you enjoyed this, and I really want to hear about your worst food experience, and your best! Oh and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

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Preview: Why I hate eating out!

Hey everyone!

So im giving you a little sneak peek as to what I’m gonna post tomorrow!

It’s all about what I hate about going to restaurants! It may sound weird for someone who loves food, but you’ll have to check back tomorrow to find out what it’s all about!

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Recipe: The dish with no name

Hey everybody!

So here is one of the 2 recipes that I promised you yesterday!
I created this recipe a few years ago after seeing a tv show. It was a recipe that was originally brought over from the Ukraine, but since they never released the recipe I had to make it up from memory!
It is a mix between a pizza and a calzone, but has a ground meat filling with lots of onions, paprika, and garlic!

The dish with no name recipe

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough (check out this link for the recipe)
  • 1 pound ground beef or sausage
  • 2 large yellow onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to: 375 degrees F
  2. In a medium sauce pan, lightly brown the yellow onions and garlic, this should take from 5-7 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked onions and garlic with the meat, paprika, chili powder, oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Roll out 2, 12″ pizza crusts. On a large baking tray, place a piece of parchment paper a little larger than the pizza crust. Place one of the pizza crusts on the parchment paper.
  5. Spread the meat mixture on the pizza crust so it forms a layer around 1/2″ thick, make sure you leave a 1″ gap of dough with no meat around the outside.
  6. Place the second crust on top of the meat mixture. Pinch the top crust together with the bottom crust.
  7. Lightly oil the top, and sprinkle some coarse salt on as well.
  8. Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Check that the meat is cooked through with a thermometer, and remove from the oven.
  9. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, cut into 8 pieces and serve!

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Thanks for checking out my latest recipe! Please try out the recipe and let me know how it works out!

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Roast mushrooms with Goats cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Hey everybody! I would first like to thank everybody who is reading this blog! I’m really happy to share that every day my page views are doubling, and it makes me want to post tons of new and even more exciting recipes and photos!

So today I didn’t really want to cook a complicated lunch, so I didn’t! I took a few simple ingredients and turned it into a mouth-watering lunch or appetizer!

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Roast mushrooms with Goats cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 Portobello mushroom, sliced thinly
  • 8 Cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze (refer to previous blog post for recipe)
  • good quality olive oil to drizzle on top
  • salt
  • pepper

Preparations:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and line a 12″ by 18″ baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Spread the mushrooms across baking sheet evenly so that they are not overlapping. Sprinkle goats cheese and parmesan cheese on top of the mushrooms evenly so that each slice gets a little bit of cheese. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on the mushrooms and drizzle generously with good quality olive oil.

Cooking:

  1. Place pan in oven and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted but not browned. Turn the broiler on and cook mushrooms until cheese starts to brown and become crisp. Be careful, this only takes a minute or two, so I recommend watching to make sure they don’t burn!
  2. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and serve immediately!

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Thanks for checking out my latest recipe everyone! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and share this page with all your friends!

Quick tip: Balsamic glaze

So I was recently in the grocery store and I saw a bottle of balsamic glaze. When I looked at the price, I was astonished that they could charge so much for a tiny bottle of balsamic that wasn’t even made in Italy! So I thought, why not make it myself! So here it is!

Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, add the balsamic vinegar, turn onto medium high heat. Allow the vinegar to come up to a full boil, and then turn down to medium low heat. Reduce the vinegar to a point where it has the consistency of thin syrup. this should take between 4-10 minutes depending on the balsamic you’re using.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a jar. Let the balsamic cool and it will make a thick syrup like balsamic glaze that goes perfect with fruit, ice cream, risotto, or just about anything you can think of!

 

Thanks for checking this post out everyone! I will be posting another recipe later today, so come and check that out to! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on WordPress!

 

 

Restaurant Review: The Spice Jammers

Hey everyone!

So its time for that restaurant review that I have been promising! The Spice Jammers, is a small east indian restaurant only minutes from downtown victoria BC. They serve up all sorts of east Indian and east African dishes in a small but cozy establishment. If you want to find out more about The Spice Jammers keep reading!

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The Review:

So, The Spice Jammers is a small east Indian/east African restaurant right by downtown Victoria, BC. I had never heard of this restaurant before, but it has been around for quite a few years. In 1996 they gained some great reviews from the Times Colonist, but they have been very quite ever since. I would love to give more history about the restaurant, but there is very little info about them, not even a website! But let’s get past all the jibber jabber and get to the review!

Ambience:

When you first walk through the door, you are greeted by a lounge of sorts, it’s actually very nice, makes you feel like you should be drinking a martini. Seeing as I don’t drink, I didn’t pay too much attention to this part of the restaurant, but it was a nice way to enter the building. As you walk further into the restaurant, I was a little bit confused, I wasn’t sure if the lounge was were I should be waited to be seated or not. There wasn’t anybody there so I kept walking into the back of the restaurant where I was helped by one of their very friendly staff.

I was brought to my table where the atmosphere was quite cozy, a little outdated with all the plants, but it was still very nice. Now the only complaint I had about the area we were in was how dark it was! The lighting seemed to be quite uneven, some areas bright, and as my luck had it, I got the dark area, making it very hard to get a great shot of the food!

The staff member introduced herself very quickly and took our drink orders, I was very happy at how quickly they came and took our drink orders, I really don’t like it when I go to a restaurant and I have to track someone down just to order my drinks! So this was a big plus in my books!

When it came to ordering, the staff were very helpful! About half of the dishes I recognized, but there were quite a number that I didn’t! Our server answered all of our questions about what the different dishes were, I got the impression that she had tasted each and every one of them!

The Food:

With the help of our server we decided on 2 curries, rice, Naan and an appetizer:

Appetizer:

  • Fried Mogo paired with tamarind chutney $4.75

The appetizer was a dish that I had never heard of. Mogo is a cross between a potato and a sweet potato, and originates from east Africa. It was lightly fried until it was nice and crisp, and it was served with a tamarind chutney. The dish was tasty, I quite enjoyed it. The mogo itself was kinda plain, but they put a spicy salt mixture on top of it which added a kick to it, and punched up the flavour. The tamarin chutney was a good pairing with it as well because it helped cool down the hot Mogo. Overall it was a very successful appetizer, and I would order it again!

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The Mains:

  • Naan $4.25
  • Basmati rice $3.25
  • Kuku Paka $16.95
  • Creamy masala prawns $18.95

The mains were 2 very different dishes, both were served family style so everybody can get a taste, and you can choose how spicy you want the dish! We decided to go for a mild spice since I can’t handle much heat, but you can always get a side of homemade hot sauce to help spice things up! The first, Kuku Paka was a traditional east African curry that has a coconut based sauce with chicken and potatoes. If you like coconut, this is the dish for you! Now I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but this dish was pretty tasty! It had a coconut aroma, but the flavour wasn’t overpowering. I found that the chicken was cooked very well, but the potatoes were slightly overcooked, kinda mushy, but still quite tasty. When you serve this over the aromatic basmati rice it is a great combo of flavours.

The second dish was the creamy Masala prawns. This dish was something that I had made myself before, and I quite liked, but I probably butchered the dish in the eyes of anyone who knows indian food! So I figured that I might as well give it a try and see if I liked it. It was very different from the way that I prepared it, more creamy and spicy with less emphasis on the prawns, and vegetables, and more emphasis on the sauce. I really did enjoy this dish! With less emphasis on the prawns, you got all sorts of flavours that are missing from north american versions of the dish. This dish is something I will go back for again!

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I am going to go off on a little tangent here about the Naan and the basmati rice! I was really confused when they didn’t serve the curries with rice and naan included. I asked myself, who would eat curry without rice and naan? Its kinda like having a burger without the bun, it just doesn’t work. Now I didn’t mind paying extra for the Naan because it was pretty tasty! But I didn’t really like paying for the rice, especially since it was kinda dry! I found this whole thing a little strange, but it’s really a minor flaw in a great meal.

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Conclusion:

The Spice Jammers really impressed me. The flavours were great, the service was excellent, and the price was not to bad, it would be a great place for a date night, or to go out with some friends and share a few great plates of food! Aside from the few minor flaws which is the only reason I didn’t give them 4 out of 4, it was a near perfect meal. This restaurant actually managed to get me to tip 20% which I have never done before!

I will be visiting The Spice Jammers again in the near future and I hope you will go and give them a try as well!

3.5 out of 4 stars

Please let me know what you think about my review, and tell me your experiences as well!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and share with all your friends!

Thanks for reading

Bacon is a Veg

Preview: The Spice Jammers

Hey everyone!

So it’s almost time for that restaurant review that I’ve been promising! I’m gonna give you a little taste of what’s going to be posted later today!

The Spice Jammers, is a small East Indian/African restaurant only minutes from downtown victoria BC. They serve up all sorts of east Indian and east African dishes in a small but cozy establishment. If you want to find out more about The Spice Jammers check back tonight!

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Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and share this blog with all your friends!

Bacon is a veg

Triple chocolate brownies

Hey everyone!

So today I decided to post another one of my favourite recipes, Triple chocolate brownies. It is a combination of a few of my brownie recipes that I have collected over the years, but they all had some flaws, so I decided why not combine all the best parts of the recipes! So here you go!

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter
2 2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dark unsweetened chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate wafers
1 cup semi sweet chocolate wafers
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
6 extra large eggs
2 tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preparations:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Butter and flour a 12″ by 18″ baking pan

Step 1:

In a double boiler, melt the butter, 2 2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips and the 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips together. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warm, not hot.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee, vanilla, sugar. Try not to beat the mixture, just gently mix until the egg yokes are mixed in.
When the chocolate mixture is still warm, mix the egg mixture and the chocolate together slowly, stirring constantly (you may need an extra person to help with this part). Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Step 3:

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chocolate and egg mixture to the flour and mix until combined (don’t over mix or it will become cake like).

Step 4:

In a small bowl combine the white and dark chocolate wafers, walnuts, and 1/4 cup of flour. Mix them together so the flour coats everything, add to the batter. Pour into the baking pan evenly.


Cooking:

Step 1:

Bake for 20 minutes at 350, then remove the pan from the oven and gently tap on a cutting board once or twice to release any air bubble from the batter. Bake for another 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Step 2:

Remove from oven and allow to cool. You can refrigerate the brownies for a few days, but after that its best to put them in the freezer!

Hope you guys enjoy and make sure to like us on Facebook!

Hungarian Paprika Chicken served over Basmati rice

Hey everybody!

So for our dinner tonight we decided to make a great recipe, Hungarian Paprika Chicken. It combines a few simple ingredients into a simple dinner for 4-5 people, or plenty of leftovers for all you students!

Hungarian Paprika Chicken recipe

Ingredients:

5 skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp paprika
1 bay leaf
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 can (540 mL) tomatoes (chopped or pureed)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 green pepper, diced
sour cream for garnish

Basmati rice recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups Basmati rice
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
pinch of salt

Basmati rice Instructions

Step 1:

In a medium pot, add the rice, water, salt, and bay leaf. Heat on medium until boiling, remove from heat and cover. Allow rice to sit for 15-20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff rice with fork once cooked.

Hungarian Paprika Chicken Instructions:

Step 1:

Cut the chicken breasts into 1″ cubes, heat a large frying pan on medium high and add 1 tbsp oil. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and clean the pan.

Step 2:

Heat the pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add onions, garlic, paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper to pan and cook until onions are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often to scrape off any of the brown bits from the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.

Step 3:

Return the chicken to the pan, add the green peppers, cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4:

Serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream

Thanks for reading and please let me know how it turns out for you. Also put any personal touches of yours in the comments!

Don’t forget to click the share link if you like the recipe!

Artichoke Risotto and Bruschetta

Hey everyone!

So tonight I decided to post 2 great recipes that are cheap and easy to make! The whole dinner cost less than $15 and will serve 4 people. It will take about 45 minutes to make start to finish, but with some practice you can get it down to under 30 minutes.

Bruschetta

Ingredients:

1 large globe (regular red) tomato (chopped)
1 small yellow tomato (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon capers (rough chop)
1 tablespoon caper brine
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped basil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
6 slices of artisan bread (toasted with oil)
freshly shaved parmesan
drizzled olive oil (the good stuff)

Step 1:

Remove the stems of the tomatoes and chop them so they are in 1/4″ cubes, rough chop the drained capers. In a large bowl add the capers, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, caper brine, salt, pepper, and chopped basil to the bowl and mix. Let the mixture sit for at least ten minutes so that the flavours meld (you can let it sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours). When you are ready to serve, drizzle the bread with good olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, just until the bread starts to crisp up.

Step 2:

As soon as your ready to serve, pile the tomato mixture evenly onto the bread. Top with shaved parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Serve right away, don’t let it sit or it will get soggy!

The Risotto

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 pinch of salt
1 strip thick cut bacon (sliced thinly)
1 large yellow onion (peeled, finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (peeled, finely chopped)
1 cup Basmati rice
1/3 cup apple juice or white wine
3 cups chicken stock
170ml jar of artichoke hearts in oil (roughly chopped)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Step 1:

Heat the chicken stock in a small pot until it is simmering, turn off and cover with lid. Heat a large deep saucepan and add the bacon, cook until fat is rendered. Without draining the fat, add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and the salt, cook on medium low for 10 minutes without browning.

Step 2:

Turn the heat up to medium and add the olive oil and the rice, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the rice does not burn. The rice will start to become translucent on the edges, add the apple juice or white wine. Allow all the liquid to be absorbed into the rice, leaving it with a light fruity taste.

Step 3:

Slowly start to add the heated chicken stock, one ladle at a time. After you add one ladle full, let the rice  cook until the rice begins to absorb the chicken stock. You will know its time to add another ladle full of chicken stock when the chicken stock is completely absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked and you have one ladle full of stock left. Add the chopped artichoke hearts to the rice and stir in. Add the last ladle full of stock and remove from the heat.

Step 4:

Stir in the parmesan cheese, cover the risotto and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

Serve as soon as it is ready so that you keep the great texture!