dinner

Baked Onion Rings

When you get a hankering for something crispy, junky and fried theres little else that can hit the spot. That was exactly my mind set just a couple hours ago, I wanted fried and I wanted it now. Onion rings seemed like the perfect idea, however I decided to make one substitution…bake it! These onion rings definitely hit the spot without the extra oil and saturated fat. That’s not to say that these are something you should be making daily… but when you have that craving why not make it a little bit healthier?

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For the batter I had a 3 separate bowl system. The first bowl had flour, the second a combination of buttermilk, flour and egg. While the third had a mixture of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, dried oregano, chilli flakes and fresh rosemary. These onion rings are simple enough to make: dip onion rounds in flour, drench them in the buttermilk mixture followed by a generous coating of the breadcrumb composite. Bake at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes and you’re finished!

While delicious on their own, these are equally good when dipped in Sriracha sauce. However if you’re feeling a little more adventurous I’m sure these would be fantastic with a chipotle mayo or cream-style dip. Yum!

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Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cheese

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there in the world! Its become a tradition in my house to make homemade pizza for mothers day and fathers day so as you can tell I’m behind on these Food Geek posts! I made this pasta dish sometime ago, *cough* during my blog hiatus *cough* but this is definitely one that I’ll be going back too!

It all started off with a leftover wedge of Asiago, I didn’t know what to make or use it on and so it remained in my fridge. One day while google-ing recipes I came across this one by Giada De Laurentiis. Giada was probably one of the first chefs I came to admire, this was when I first started getting interested in cooking and started watching the Food Network. Although she quickly became my favourite Food Network personality, for some reason I don’t think I’ve made any of her dishes. Well theres a first for everything!

Let me just say if her other recipes are similar to this one I’ll definitely be looking up her recipe repertoire! The smell alone of the asiago, tomatoes and spinach heating over the stove top is amazing, an hour or so after I had finished my meal my housemate came over to ask what I had made; it smelled THAT good. This pasta dish is both light yet creamy and although minimal in number of ingredients the outcome is a complex flavour and aroma that leaves nothing to be desired. I pretty much made this recipe as is, however instead of the fusilli I used bow tie and I finished the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Trust me if you try out this recipe you will not be disappointed!

Dinner at the Works round 2!

As promised today’s post features another meal from The Works. Met up with a friend for dinner last night. We pretty much just had a friend day, we did some shopping, went to the mall then it was back to her place for a movie night. We bought chips and chocolate for our late night double feature; somehow we thought we’d either get hungry during the movie or have room for snacks…but nope that didn’t happen. I woke up this morning still full from last night. Literally.

We decided to get an appetizer last night (we both didn’t really eat lunch and were almost ravenous). Our starter of choice? The Tower O-RingsA stack of perfectly crispy onion rings piled high, with a side of chiptole mayo. These onion rings are delicious; theres no getting around it, they are greasy to the touch but they aren’t the slightest bit soggy. Perfectly crunchy and the creamy kick from the chiptole mayo was a really nice mix.

Next were our mains! Before we had even left for the day I knew what I would be ordering. If you read my last The Works post here, this is the burger I had originally intended to get during that trip. So it was no surprise that I settled on the Crappy Tire. This burger features a grilled pineapple ring, sweet and spicy sauce with a slice of brie cheese. I ordered mine on a gourmet veggie patty with a whole wheat bun. This was in the Gettin’ Saucy section of the menu and saucy it was! This burger, although quite tasty, had me wishing for a wet wipe! The sweet and spicy sauce just dripped down the burger; I can say that it does taste quite good on the spicy die cut chips though. I finished off my order with my go-to side of choice, the spicy die cut chips, this time with beechhouse sauce on the side.

In all honestly I took half of my burger and most of my side in a takeout container (wait until you see the rest of this post, we ordered a lot!) which I ate earlier today. Because of the pineapple this burger is quite sweet even with the sweet and spicy sauce (which is more of a tang than a spiciness). I added some sriracha on my burger and was it ever tasty! That added kick really brought out the flavours.

Now onto my friend JP’s meal! She ordered the B.A.B burger which features cheddar cheese, tomato, fresh red onion and a garlic sauce. She ordered hers on a chicken breast with a whole wheat bun finishing off her order with a side of spicy die cut chips.

As if our order wasn’t enough already we rounded out our meal with milkshakes! I mean how could we not! These were in the 8 oz. kids sizes of course. I ordered the 2001 Shake Odyssey (left), the same one i ordered on my last visit. JP ordered a Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Banana shake. Yup pretty sure I’m still recovering from my food baby.

A Middle Eastern Lunch

Food Geek: A Middle Eastern Lunch

Went back home for the weekend which means another mini feast courtesy of moi!

Pictured is:
– kale chips
– tabouli
– falafel
– tabouli (without parsley)
– hummus, tzatziki and jalapeño
– carrots, tomato wedges and lemon

The kale chips were a tasty bit of added crunch to the meal and were a cinch to make! Just baked at 300 until they were nice and crunchy (about 10 min for this batch). I’ve always been a fan of making falafel, its so filling and has such a great flavour. Believe it or not this was my mom’s first time having falafel! Was she the biggest fan? Unknown; but then again she is kind of a picky eater. Tabouli isn’t usually something I’ll have a hankering for, but stuffed in a toasted pita with some falafel, roasted red pepper hummus and tzatziki and my stomach starts to growl!

Dinner at The Works

I’d heard about The Works for months now, a gourmet burger and fries joint with enough options to make your head spin! Finally went last weekend for a friends birthday and let me just say I can’t wait to go back! For a list of locations click here!

Here are some pictures of my meal, along with two of my companions who were sitting on either side of me. (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of everyone’s meal!) We all chose a burger with a different side, and let me just say everything was devoured! The birthday girl ordered a poutine (which was huge!) and I was told it was equally delicious!

Whats nice about the works is the sheer amount of options. Ordering a burger is a subsequent series of steps, beginning with your choice of burger (veggie burger, grilled portabello, gourmet ground beef, chicken breast, turkey burger and if you’re feeling adventurous there is also an Elk burger!). Next is 2 FULL COLUMNS of burger options, broken down into categories for those who want a crowd favourite, the adventure seekers who want a strange combination, burgers with a lot of sauce, a spicy burger, a carnivorous burger, some specific vegetarian options (there are numerous options throughout each category…excluding the carnivorous one of course!) and lastly a world tour category with tastes such as jamaican jerk and teriyaki.

All the drinks we were served came in measuring cups!

I’ve heard their milkshakes were all to die for! So you better believe our entire  table ordered a round! I ordered a mocha- chocolate cherry milkshake (this is the kids size) to round out my ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun.

The ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ burger consists of crushed chipotle peppers, smokey bbq sauce & gouda cheese. I ordered a side of Spicy Die-cut chips. Let my just say that my mouth was on fire! The burger combination was listed under the spicy column, and spicy it sure was! That in combination with the spicy chips had me reaching for my water. Nonetheless the burger was delicious, and one that I would recommend. However a different side would probably be wise. My milkshake was also quite good. The color was almost that of a strawberry milkshake and although it was very sweet I liked the bit of a coffee aftertaste. I think this particular combination (yes you can mix milkshake flavours!) would have been better with just coffee instead of a mocha.

My friend J got the meal pictured above. Her milkshake was a special called the 2001 Shake Odyssey which consisted of caramel, peanut butter and oreo cookie crumbs. While her burger choice was a ‘First Date‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with fresh cut fries. The ‘First Date‘ burger consists of  wild mushrooms, diced tomatoes, fresh garlic & brie cheese. J was actually the only one of us (pictured trio) that didn’t have any leftovers! C and I both brought back our sides…which were devoured later that night.

Lastly, pictured above is C’s order. She chose a peanut butter chocolate, raspberry milkshake, and let me point out that this is a delicious combination,  with a ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ Gourmet Ground Beef burger on a whole wheat bun with Sweet Potato strings. The ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ burger consisted of tomato, fresh red pepper, cucumber, shredded carrot & curry mayo.

If you have a The Works restaurant in your vicinity, or are visiting an area with one in the near future, I would HIGHLY suggest you go. Even if you aren’t up for trying adventurous food combinations there is still a simplistic burger with lettuce and burger with cheddar option (one of our dinner companions had the former, along with a plain vanilla milkshake). My mouth is watering just thinking about the meal!

Open-faced Flatbread with Dressings

Sometimes the best food combinations come out by accident. Made this meal one night after coming back from night class and just threw some things together. My roommates made fun of me for calling this a lazy meal; but hey what can I say, I guess i’m just not a KD girl. Honestly though, can’t even describe how good this combination is!

Toasted flatbread with ricotta cheese, cucumber, fried egg, honey mustard, ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Added some mint for a garnish

Delicious.

Cold Spring Rolls

Food Geek: Cold Spring Rolls

An easy recipe that can double as an appetizer or a light dinner. These cold spring rolls were made with rice paper sheets, carrot, celery, cucumber, red pepper and thai basil. The key to cold spring rolls is giving them enough flavour and moisture so they don’t taste like a boring salad or raw vegetables. For these I layered the flavours with different sauces to make them more interesting. I used sweet Thai chili sauce, teriyaki sauce and a poppy-seed dressing. A great quick and easy summer treat