December 31, 2012

Christmas Dinner 2012, Part Three


There it is, Christmas dinner on a plate. I'm happy to report that every single thing on my plate was devoured.



I think I overheard someone say that the whole turkey + gravy + cranberry sauce combination reminded them on Ikea's Swedish meatballs. We love those, so good!

Today I ate an turkey sandwich. It consisted of two slices of homemade challah that were lightly buttered and pan toasted, turkey salad with celery and onions, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and black pepper. I slathered cranberry sauce on one of the toasts. It was pretty much the best thing ever.

I would have taken a photo if I had not inhaled it in two breaths. :)

Remember that sweet $5 off when you spend $5 on Irresistable products from Metro? No? Well, let me tell ya- we bought this pie (that was dairy/egg/animal free) for about $2 after the discount and it was all that bad! Actually, it was really good! Peach, raspberry and blueberry filling, you can't go wrong. I liked that it wasn't sickeningly sweet and was perfect with a mug of something hot. :) Definitely a repurchase!

December 28, 2012

Turkey for Tank



Tank for her share of turkey too.

After milling around for about five minutes deciding on whether or not to chow down, she delicately snatched the meat up with her little teeth and jumped off the chair sprinting towards the hallway. I followed her and watched quietly as she shredded it into peices to consume.

A little camera shy when it comes to eating, I see... <3

Christmas Dinner 2012, Part Two

Continued from: Christmas Dinner 2012, Part One
Thanks to Rich for snapping these photos of me dismantling the bird!

Pretty much all white meat and two drumsticks. Piping hot gravy on the side.
 As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I made Richard a meatless turkey! First time doing so and without a recipe. I was inspired by watching Jamie Oliver's Christmas specials on the Food Network, where he made a turkey wellington

So what I did, was I took a bag of Gardien's "chick'n scallopini" and cooked them up with some thyme and rosemary. I made a butter-less pie crust for the "skin". Then there was the stuffing, which doubled as food glue; made by taking some mashed potatoes, cooked quinoa, caramelized onions, mushrooms and spices and chopping them up fine. I mixed it up real good and added an egg replacer (flax and water) to bind it all together. The rest was just stacking and molding. It reminded me of putting together a cake! 

 30 minutes in the oven at 375F and it was ready to go since everything had been already cooked. We just needed to bake the crust. :) 

By the way, Rich and I think Tofurky's are over priced and rubber-band like. They are banned from our households!

Out of the oven, first cut! I tried to shape it into looking like the real thing...next time, I'm adding wings and a drumstick!

Deliciously flaky crust

Meatless innards full of protein, surrounded by yummy veggies/potatoes and quinoa!

Mashed potatoes with herbs and garlic (made vegan, 'cause no one will miss the butter and milk)

Sautéed shredded brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and garlic

Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes

Turkey and un-turkey dressing

Made at home cranberry sauce with a twist of orange

Instagram things
Two plates, three cameras snapping away!
 There were also mashed sweet potatoes, but I totally forgot about those. They were made, just not heated up and not consumed. Womp womp! With only six of us, five of which eat meat there was lots and lots and LOTS of food left over. Fortunately leftovers are always welcomed over here! Hooray for Denise making her way over here- we were able to send her home with some goodies too!

I think it's safe to say that everybody was left stuffed to the brim. I couldn't even go back for seconds. There was probably enough food for five more people! We've been eating turkey salad sandwiches for the past week and heck, I'm not complaining! I love it! Paired with turkey/veggie soup...makes for an awesome meal.

P.S. It's funny how you prep and cook for hours and once dinner is served, it's all gone in 15 minutes! It was really nice having everyone together for a nice sit down dinner, so it was all worth it. Happy holidays everyone, hope you had a fabulous Christmas too! 

Christmas Dinner 2012, Part One

White meat on my favourite turkey platter
Wow, it's nearly been a week since I hosted Christmas dinner! With all the shopping and running around going on paired with heavy doses of itis, time sure does fly by.  I've been away from Jubes & Tank and I'm sorry. There's a lot of catching up to do!

Here's a glimpse of Christmas dinner preparation/turkey carving. :)

DIY dried bread cubes

Mirepoix, herbs and dried fruit for the dressing
There's a mixture of apricots, cranberries and raisins in there

..and sautéed mushrooms!

My homemade vegan turkey loaf. No Tofurky here!

Tried the high temperature cooking method

16.6 pound turkey, not sure if I like this method of cooking...it was messy.

But we got crispy skin!

Mum's appitizer dish, fried wantons (vegan and non-vegan) with a sweet chili sauce 

A side by side of the two turkeys.

I prepped for nearly two days and got to sleep in the day of the dinner. I love that. I love sleep! I woke up refreshed, took the real turkey into the house to come to room temp and preheated the oven to 475F. It was going to take about two and a half hours for a nearly 17 lb turkey.

Now, let me warn you. If you don't mind having to deep clean your oven afterwards, try the high heat cooking method. But if you're like me and loath it, especially when I have to literally stick my head in the oven, bent over, scrubbing like a crazy person...not so fun. (My manicure!) And before you say it, I did three cycles of steam cleaning. I won't do a full self clean on the oven as it tends to...break it. I've done my research- so not a good idea!

As for the meat, it was fairy juicy- I won't say it was perfect, it was not. It had it's dry bits and those went into the soup pot. I think I'll be sticking to the high heat, regular heat method from now on. A smokey kitchen makes for a grumpy gal and I'm already a kitchen Nazi as it is. Any more and no one gets dinner! 

Since I made the stuffing, Rich's faux bird, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes and had pre-cut my root veggies, I just threw them in after the turkey was out of the oven for about 30 minutes to cook and/or to warm through. I had a whole schedule written out.

Part two to follow!

December 22, 2012

Snow? SNOW!

Hi love!

GUYS, IT'S FINALLY SNOWING!! I AM SO EXCITED!!

Haha, seriously- I've been wanting it to snow so badly and tonight we got a good dusting of it. Yay!! Just in time for my Christmas dinner, which will happen in about a little over 15.5 hours. I'm reading up on high heat turkey roasting- going to try something new this year! Wish me luck, will ya?

Stubby legs!

Tank being slowly consumed by her outfit...

lol, her expression is priceless.

Purr-fect
Looks like there will be two other Christmas dinners happening this year! Whoohoo! I can't wait to stuff my face full of delicious food. GONNA GET MY PEPTO-BISMOL ON!!

P.S. I finally get to bust out my winter boots, hooray!
P.P.S. So many exclamation marks!!! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!!

December 21, 2012

Lazy Girl Wings

 When Olymel chicken wings (20's) went on sale for $5 a box it was time to stock the freezer. When I saw that I had $2.50 off coupons, I had no excuse! I like having these heat a serve boxes around for those lazy girl dinner days. 

All I did was open up two boxes, make some oven fries and shove them in there for a good 30 minutes or so at 400F. I disregarded what the box said to do. I just made sure I cooked the wings long enough and all was good. I broiled them at the end to give them some colour and it was chow time! 

Wait- I made garlic green beans while the fries and wings were cooking, and then it was CHOW TIME!!! Served with a little ranch dressing on the side, delish.



Totally digg'n the colours on the plate.

5 Days!

Tree- adding as we go
 There's five days until Chrsitmas!! I couldn't wait to give little Tank her stocking full of goodies so she got it yesterday. It was total toy overload and she didn't know what to do, she was quite overwhelmed. <3

Tank investigating her new bff's

My favourite out of the bunch. So little, soo cute!

Icicle lights + mirror = something simple yet really pretty

Stocking- we don't do stuffers (except for the little one up there)

I've been super busy shopping and planning and prepping Christmas dinner. Seems hectic, but I have it all under control. It's not hard at all as long as you know what you're doing; and I know what I'm doing this year, thanks to hosting Thanksgiving dinner back in October! There will just be six people coming this Saturday as most of my extended family are on vacation or super super busy. Denise and Rich (veeegan) will be coming over, which means there's only 5 people chowing down on this 7+ kilogram bird, haha. Good thing I love leftovers and already have plans as to what I'll make. :D

I made vegan challah dough today and yesterday. One batch became cinnamon rolls and a twisted cinnamon wreath. The other batch will just be regular braided loaves of bread. Yum yum!

Are you having Christmas dinner this year? What will you be serving/hoping will be served?

December 19, 2012

Citrus-y Chicken Legs

 Made and ate this sometime last week. I roasted some chicken legs, made an orange/lemon sauce, cut and threw in some potatoes in a pan along side the chicken and sautéed some shredded brussels sprouts with garlic. Then I sprinkled on some seame seeds for...THAT SOMETHING EXTRA.

...to KICK IT UP A NOTCH.
You know what I'm talking about, pffft.

I love toasted sesame seeds!

 The chicken is super brown, not because I overcooked it- I like to think I never overcook chicken. But it's hard to say, because I never use a timer and I just take it out when...I feel it's done. Like, a sixth sense or something. Maybe I should get a meat thermometer. Or maybe I'll just continue utilizing this magical ability until one day I cut open a bird to find that it's completely raw with it's heart still beating.

That's when the microwave comes into play. Ha!

The important thing is, no one has ever gotten sick. 

As I was saying, the meat is super brown because I'm...trying something new. I'm using a secret pre-roasting glaze that I am developing by eyeballing the ingredients each time. Totally professional, right? NOT. But it works so I'll leave it at that! For now...

The chicken was delish and we were really liking the citrus sauce. I made it simply using orange juice, fresh lemon juice, herbs (thyme and rosemary), s & p, sugar and chicken broth. Then I thickened it up with a flour and water slurry and adjusted it until I thought it was perfect. 

P.S. Shredding brussels sprouts is my favourite way of preparing them! It's easier to eat, easier to cook and I think it's prettier. 
 
P.P.S. I'm going to test out this glazing before roasting method on my Christmas turkey. I love a bird with good colour!

Smart Shopping

Kraft Dinner x27: 50¢ a box - 75¢ coupon = +25¢ per box


Century Palace

 For my mum and dad's anniversary, the four of us headed off to Century Palace Chinese Restaurant for a nice sit down dinner. The food was great, service friendly and fast! Since it was a weekday, it wasn't too busy which meant more attentive waiters and a more pleasant atmosphere.

Here's what we ordered! 

Peking duck, sliced at the table

While we waited, mum decided to take a photo of me as I took on of her. ARTSY!

Yummy! Peking duck served with handmade sesame flour wraps, hoisin sauce, carrots and scallions

Ta-da! It's got everything in it. Delicious!

My family loves roasted duck. We have it often :)

Shark fin Seafood soup

This was an interestingly good dish- It was steamed eggs with lobster fat mixed in served with a soy based sauce and scallions.

Soup with red vinegar. I love vinegar!

Baby bok choy with dried scallops and field mushrooms

Remember that roasted duck?

Well after it was sliced, the rest of the meat was cooked with diced vegetables!
Lettuce wrap with duck. Yum!

Than it was lobster time. It was about 6.5 pounds and was cooked with Maggie sauce and garlic and was fab.


As if that wasn't enough, fresh fish!

I don't remember what kind it was, but as messy as it looks, it was fresh and the meat was silky and soft.
As with most Chinese dinners, dessert was served when we were done. We had red bean soup, which isn't one of my favourites- at all. I skipped it, thus forgot to take a photo of it. Whoops! Overall, Century Palace was a nice place to have dinner. We're return customers so chances are, we'll continue going there! 

As a bonus, there was a huge party happening in their banquet room. We got to listen to some...awesome karaoke-ing towards the end of the meal. It was hilarious and I couldn't figure out if the man singing was singing horrendously on purpose, or if he really didn't know that was was completely tone deaf and thought he was belting the song out like a certain Céline. I left in tears. I couldn't stop laughing!

About

Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and make big messes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's super cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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