Thursday, September 05, 2013

What in the World Has Penne Been Up To?

Wow, it’s been a few months since I last wrote a blog post – shame on me!  I am going to plead extreme busyness (wow, that IS a word…) over the summer both professionally and personally.  Obviously, summer is the craziest time of year for us at DQ Canada and with our annual Miracle Treat Day fundraiser and a Guinness World Records event in Calgary for world’s largestfruit sculpture, I barely had time to catch my breath and do the regular stuff.   

In my home life, we kept super busy this summer with day trips to places like Port Dover on Lake Erie and African Lion Safari for O's 2nd birthday. We mostly stayed local and enjoyed lounging in our back yard on warm summer days.   Jason and I also went on a one-night getaway to Fergus and Elora where we hiked, ate, drank and rode our bikes.  If you've never been to this little gem in Ontario, you must check it out! 
World's Largest Fruit Sculpture.  3.06 meters tall!

Brew House on the Grand, Fergus, ON

In the kitchen, I’ve been up to my usual antics.  I continue to meal plan religiously and try a couple of new recipes every week.  Boy, I love to cook.  Like, really, really love it.  Had I known this 20 (OMG) years ago, perhaps I would have went to culinary school.  Although, given that I am the furthest thing from a night owl there is, I probably would have had to specialize in breakfast.   And, given that I am not a fan of breakfast (eggs – no thanks, waffles – yuck, pancakes – oh no) I just don’t see it working out for me as a chef.  But I digress….

Here’s something super cool that I’ve been doing in the kitchen though!  It’s no secret that I love Chatelaine magazine and its recipes, so when I saw that I could apply to be a home recipe tester I filled out those forms at lightning speed.  And, guess who was chosen to be a tester?  Yes, that’s right – ME!  I have now tested recipes for both the November and December issues of the magazine.   I’m sworn to secrecy on those recipes until they are in print, but I will tell you this – the ones I tested were delicious, fast and easy, true to Chatelaine form.  I could potentially be quoted in the mags when the recipes are printed, so I’ll let you know if I’m now a famous home-recipe-tester when they show up in my mailbox. 

I’ve cooked several super delicious meals lately and I don’t have time to elaborate on all, but I will tell you about one from last weekend.  This. Chicken. Is. Unbelievable.
Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Reduction
The original recipe is from this blog and I followed it pretty much to the letter.  I did buy one of those mozzarella balls which I think is much better than the brick mozzarella, although more expensive.  Fresh basil leaves are essential and I used Roma tomatoes as they tend to be less juicy and more firm.  One thing I did that the recipe did not call for was to marinate the chicken.  I threw it in a bowl with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, S and P and garlic powder for a few hours before BBQ-ing it.  I think it was a nice touch and added more flavour. 

On the side we had grilled asparagus and a very rich and delicious (read: full of butter, cheese and calories) Parmesan and garlic farfalle pasta.   It was a great meal shared with wonderful friends that I will most definitely make again.  

September always feels like the time for new beginnings for me, so I am going to make a concerted effort to blog at least once a week.  Mark my words!  


  1. Too bad I no longer get Chatelaine in the mail :-( I would have loved to see the recipe and your comments in print. So please share when you're allowed!!!

  2. Amanda, if you're a Rogers customer, they have a fabulous deal - you can add a subscription to Chatelaine to your monthly bill for $1.00 a month! But even if you're not, it's very reasonably priced :) The recipes online are fab too though!