Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thai Shrimp

photo by frozenflies

Here I sit, drowning in my poison ivy but thankful, nonetheless, for the great summer we've experienced so far. While a gaggle of girls giggle down in the basement (remnants from a sleepover with overdoses of junkfood) and two sleeping boys from their own late night, I find myself surprisingly relaxed and enjoying the peace of a rainy, Sunday morning. Short-lived, I know. Soon that gaggle of girls will bound up the stairs and destroy my kitchen with the makings of breakfast at noon.

I hope you've all made the most of this summer. It seems so busy and I actually find myself welcoming the routine of fall. I guess us Canadians are forced to squeeze in as much seasonal fun as we can; cramming these months with camping, swimming, concerts in the park, poolside parties and dockside frolicking. As great as this time of year is, I am truly looking forward to fall for the following reasons:

  • working from home without constant interuptions and eruptions from my offspring
  • having friends all back from holidays so we can catch up with one other
  • the sweet scent of changing leaves and the bountiful colours that come with it
  • our town's fall fair
  • mountain bike rides without humidity
  • cleaning the house and having it stay clean while the kids are at school
  • simmering aromas from roast beef dinners and harvest corn chowder; things I never cook in summer
  • hiking in the forest without bugs
  • more time for magazine writing
  • the hibernation of the dreaded poison ivy plant that has plagued me this summer
  • wearing my favourite faded jeans and hoodies
  • peppermint tea on cool mornings

I also look forward to posting more often with the promise of spreading new, great recipes and random thoughts. To all of you, enjoy the last few weeks this beautiful summer brings! Until then, I leave you with my cousin Kathy's (yes, the same Kathy who brought you the ice cream cake) Shrimp dish. She served this up while at the lake and even my husband, who does not eat seafood, loved it.
(my two beautiful cousins, Kathy and Dianne)

Spicy Thai Shrimp

4 lbs. Peeled cooked shrimp, thawed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 whole lime, finely grate the peel
1 whole lime, juiced
2 Tbsp fresh (or dried) cilantro
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup finely chopped chili peppers (I used jarred banana peppers)
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger (TIP: keep ginger root in the freezer, waaay easier to grate; and I don’t measure this, just grated a bunch, I’m sure more than 2 tsp.)

Pour over shrimp and marinate for 8 hours.

peppermint tea photo by louisahennessyvikinghorns
shrimp photo by jenianddean on flickr

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ice Cream Cake

Zac opening his present from Grandma

After my son had requested an ice cream cake for his birthday, I was a little bummed. I'm a little tired of the DQ cakes. I find them hard to slice or melted and soggy, and you have to ditch the leftovers if it doesn't get eaten right away.

My cousin, Kathy, is always coming up with the best recipes. Seriously...if she had a recipe blog, I would be a very dedicated follower (hint! hint!). She passed this ice cream cake recipe along to me and I was sold on the fact that it was SUPER easy to make. My ten-year-old-to-be was also willing to give it a shot.

I switched the recipe up a bit to accommodate peanut allergies. Plus, I really do like that gooey cookie center in the DQ cakes so I tried to replicate that. I should also mention that I used quite a big pan so these quantities may be over and above what you'd need but you can decide. I used an 11" x 13" pan that is 2" deep. The recipe originally calls for a 9 x 13. If you use that size, then go easy on the quantities that I list below.

How did it turn out? Well, it was AWESOME! Not only was it way easier to serve and save, but it was more delicious than any ice cream cake from DQ. If you make this, I'm sure you'll find everyone raving about it too, even knowing that party kids can be the hardest critics. Good Luck!

Zac's Ice Cream Cake
this served a party of 12 kids, two adults and LOTS leftover

1 jar of hot fudge sauce
2 bags of oreo cookies
2 - 24 packs of Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 containers Frozen Cool Whip Topping; thawed

Take only one bag of Oreo cookies and blend in food processor to turn them into coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with ice cream sandwiches. Spread with a layer of Cool Whip Topping; as thick as you like. Sprinkle all the crushed Oreo cookies on top. Heat hot fudge sauce in microwave for one minute and drizzle over the crushed Oreo layer. Layer another row of sandwiches on top and frost with remaining Cool Whip. Decorate top with whole Oreo Cookies. Keep in freezer until ready to serve.

Can be made the day before.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Darryl and Jeremy sitting boat-side!

How are all you summer worshipers doing? This weather has been fantastic allowing us to be dockside, poolside, porch side, bonfire side! So whatever 'side' you've found yourselves on this past month or two, I hope you're soaking up every ray; getting every drop of sunshine. You deserve it!

I've gotta' post this recipe for Guacamole. It is my absolute go-to summer dip. My kids devour it too so I'm always cracking open the avocados all season long. Don't skimp on the cilantro - this fresh herb smells so good and is the key to this dip's success! If you can't get your hands on fresh cilantro, save yourself the trouble and wait until you can get your paws on a bunch. You seriously need it for this Group-Pleasing Gwock.

photo by dubow


6-10 avocados, peeled and seeded
Diced Tomatoes (as much as you wish; I usually throw in one or two)
Minced white or purple onion (I usually do one big one if I'm doing up a big bowl)
A bunch of fresh cilantro; washed and chopped
Splash of Red Hot Sauce - just a splash!
Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Mash the avocado with a potato masher. Stir in the tomatoes and onions. Add lots of fresh cilantro then mix in lime juice. I usually squirt in about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup to start then fool around with the quantity. Add the splash of hot sauce. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final stir then squirt some more lime juice on top.Serve with Lime Tacos.

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