Friday, March 25, 2011

Bacon Fat Fried Maple Glazed Ham

Our family likes to snack throughout the day, even though we do have large meals here and there. Today was no exception.

When Andrew came home from school, he headed into the kitchen and began to rummage through the fridge. He found some ham and cheese but didn’t want to make a ham and grilled cheese sandwich.

Maple Syrup Glazed Ham
Andrew needed something less boring so he diced up the ham and fried it in a bit of bacon fat. To make it tastier, he dropped in a bit of maple syrup.

Garlic Sauce
Maple Syrup Glazed Ham
Wow! The ham was so good! I was impressed that Andrew came up with the bacon-fat-fried maple-glazed-ham. Man, that's a mouth full! The ham was both sweet and salty. He also sliced some Balderson cheese (the white stuff) and mild processed cheddar. Andrew and I happily enjoyed the awesome ham with some unsalted crackers and a garlic sauce that Lucy bought, all the while watching some of the newer episodes of No Reservations

So simple, and yet so good!

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Luck at D'Arcy McGees

A few weeks ago, Lucy and Jimmy had dinner at D’Arcy McGees with some friends. Lucy came back gushing about the food and the prices. I went onto the pub's website and checked out their menu. It looked quite good, but Lucy said they were currently in the process of changing the menu. Lucy had some kind of leek and fish pie (something that wasn’t going to be on the new menu). While looking through the website, I noticed that they had shuttles to the Scotiabank Place for hockey games.

Since I had tickets to an upcoming Sens game, I made a mental note to go to D’Arcys for some food before the game. Flash forward a few days later.

Sam and I had dinner at their Kanata location before hopping on a shuttle to watch the Sens to take the Penguins. I was really hoping that the menu hadn't changed yet and that I could try the pie Lucy had, but it was nowhere to be found. There were only three pies on the new menu; Shephard’s pie, chicken pie and a seafood pie. Damn... I was too late. The menus had changed already. 

Blarney Chips
I've heard about the blarney chips before. Can't remember where. Sam and I started with a plate of those. These were criss-cross cut fries that were topped with diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and drizzles of nacho cheese. Salsa and sour cream were served on the side. I wish there was more nacho cheese, but other than that, these were great as an appetizer. You can't tell from this picture, but the plate is huge!

Mini Yorkshire Puddings
I settled with the mini Yorkshire puddings. I knew they were going to be small, but I was disappointed at how small they were. The braised beef-filled Yorkshire puddings were topped with a flavourless white cheddar cheese. The three wee little things served with a bit of coleslaw.

Mini Yorkshire Puddings
The braised beef filling was bit dry and lacked flavour. I wouldn’t order these again, only cause I’d rather have something more substantial and flavourful. I guess I was hoping that there would be some kind of Irish stew of some sort, but alas, it was just not meant to be.

Club Sandwich
Sam ordered the club sandwich with the salad as a side. She enjoyed it and said that they make one of the best club sandwiches in Ottawa.

Overall, dinner was okay. It's better than the over-priced stuff at the Scotiabank Place. Because we split the blarney chips, both of our bills came to around $20. Not bad. I’m definitely going to go back to D’Arcy to try their other stuff. I hope they’ll bring back some of their old dishes as specials during the week. I really want to try the leek and fish pie!

The Sens lost 5-1 if you were wondering. It was such a disappointing game.

On another note, D'Arcy has a location at the Ottawa airport so you can get blarney chips before you hop on your plane (or when you get off your plane).


655 Terry Fox Dr.
Kanata, ON
D'Arcy McGees on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baked Goods

Our house was overloaded with desserts last Sunday. It was pretty funny how everything unfolded.

Frank’s Catering & Baked Goods was still open when we had an early dinner at the New Hong Shing last Saturday. We usually have a later dinner, so Frank’s was always closed. I’ve always wanted to see how good “Frank’s Famous Tarts” were, so when I had the chance I picked some up.

Pecan and Butter
I chose butter tarts, pecan tarts and some with raisins.

Pecan Tart Cross
On Sunday, we warmed up a few tarts in the toaster oven. The tops had a crisp layer that reminded me of crème brûlée. Despite the heavy pastry shell, the warm filling was perfect when enjoyed with a cup of coffee. As if on cue, Mom shared her comments after two bites. She claimed that she could make a lighter pastry and a more flavourful and rich filling. I don’t know why she wanted to change the filling, because that was my favourite part about the tarts.

At $7 for half a dozen, I would definitely get these again. I think these tarts are well liked because they aren't cloyingly sweet. Frank's Catering & Baked Goods also make sandwiches, pasta, and sweet and savoury pies that you can take home to bake.

Pecan Tart
This is a very boring shot of a pecan tart, but I thought I’d put it up because Mom actually helped me with lighting these shots. Funny, eh? She used to frown upon Lucy and I taking pictures of food, but now she actually asks us if we want to take pictures before everyone starts to eat.

See? She used a white board as a reflector. Hahaa! It was fun having her as my assistant, even if it was just for two minutes.

Sankhya Lapov
Earlier in the morning, Grandpa and Grandma brought over a buttercup squash because Grandpa was craving sankhya lapov. And since Mom loves to bake in the morning, she quickly made it for them.

Banana Cake
We also had bananas that were over ripened, so Mom whipped up two loaves of banana bread made with whole wheat. I was skeptical of how it would turn out, but I was proved wrong. I was worried about the moistness because Mom and Dad tend to forget to have more liquid when using whole wheat.

Banana Cake Slice
Grandpa and Grandma each wanted a small piece instead of the large pieces our family tends to enjoy.

Apple Pie
My aunt, uncle and M came over to enjoy our baked goods and brought over homemade apple pie (even the filling was made from scratch). I didn’t have any pie, but I’m sure it was good.

I think I filled up on desserts for brunch that day. Everything was devoured in a flash! We finished everything before the week ended. Crazy, huh?


Frank's Catering & Baked Goods
283 Greenbank Rd.
Ottawa, ON
Frank's Catering and Baked Goods on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Tidbits: Part 8

When we were younger, my parents would buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco and we’d have a picnic at the beach. One day while shopping at Costco, my parents noticed that a new batch of rotisserie chickens coming out of the oven. Like an eagle, Mom swiftly snatched a plump bird before anyone else even noticed.

Costco Chicken
I’m drooling just looking at this!

Once we got home, Dad quickly began working on some potatoes. There were enough potatoes for two baking trays, so I helped Dad season both of them.

Baked Potatoes 2
The first tray was seasoned with minced garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika and some oil.

Baked Potatoes 1
The other tray had minced garlic, Italian seasoning, chili powder, chicken powder (the bouillon stuff), and some oil.

It’s too bad the pictures didn’t turn out, but they both looked amazing! Everyone favoured the second tray of potatoes because they were spicy and had more flavour than the first batch.

The chicken was so juicy – even the breast pieces! I feel like they brine their chickens a bit too long. The texture was a tad too soft, but in saying that, I’d rather have this chicken than dry and stringy chicken. We made gravy from some Swiss Chalet sauce mix and the drippings of the chicken. Yum!


My bacon, egg and pancake breakfast ended up becoming perogies with onions, bacon and sour cream. Wowzers!

While I was frying the bacon for my breakfast, Dad showed up behind me with some frozen perogies that we had in the freezer. I wasn’t ready for such a heavy meal, but everyone else wanted it. Richard took over and then fried another bag of bacon. The bacon he brought out was gorgeous!

Perogies 3
This was a more fatty slice of (Canadian) bacon in the bag.

Perogies 4
I’d say that Richard did a good job. There were both soft and crunchy bacon to satisfy everyone’s taste.

Perogies 1
Lucy boiled the frozen perogies, Andrew prepared the onions, and then browned the boiled perogies on the griddle.

Perogies 2
Once everything was finished, Andrew made himself a nice plate of perogies and all the fixings.

Brunch was quite greasy and heavy, but delicious nonetheless.


Like the last time I ordered Pizza Pizza pizza, I opted for Lucy’s garlicky creation. Hmm… she needs to name it.

Lucy's Pizza
You should order Lucy's pizza next time. It’s a thin crust pizza with a base of creamy garlic sauce, grilled zucchini, Italian sausage, and the four cheese blend (cheese on top). Chili peppers and Italiano blend was added on top of the well done pizza, too. Dad had it for the first time and loved it. You will too!

He usually eats a bit of everything but when I offered him one of a slice off of my pizza, he refused and went for another slice of Lucy’s pizza. Dad eventually had half of a slice of my pizza to make me feel better.

Pepperoni and Bacon
Crumble Pizza
I unintentionally ordered the same kind of pizza; pepperoni, bacon crumble, four cheese and extra sauce on the bottom of the well done pizza. The pizza wasn’t well done enough. I love when the edges of the pepperoni curl up and become crispy, which was one of the reasons why I chose to have the pizza well done. Ah well.

Despite not liking Pizza Pizza pizza, I do occasionally enjoy it – when the pizzas are done right.


1849 Merivale Rd.
Ottawa, ON

Pizza Pizza
68 Northside Rd.
Ottawa, ON
Pizza Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Look Back at 2010

It’s the middle of March and I’m just posting this summary up now. Ah well, better late than never, huh?

Over the past year, I've tried to push myself and Lucy to take better images. A few of these were taken with Lucy's point-and-shoot camera. Can you guess which ones? Let’s start with some of my favourite pictures (that were blogged about) in 2010, shall we?

Lunch at Jadeland 1
I have to start with some kind of noodles! [Article: Lunch at Jadeland]

IMG_0604 copy
Beautifully golden fried chicken dumplings. This was taken with Lucy's camera. It just goes to show how a steady hand and natural light can make an image look to great. [Pan Chancho, Northern Dumpling Kitchen, and Kenzo Ramen - June 23rd/24th]

Lucy's Toronto Vacation30
First time making and eating okonomiyaki. [Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 4: Homemade Okonomiyaki]

Seoul House1
Some kind of Korean fish pancake. It was part of our banchan. [Seoul House - Korean BBQ...]

All of the following stats are from March 2010 - March 2011.

Here are the top 5 page views by countries:
5) Netherlands [31 views]
4) United Kingdom [45]
3) Germany [49]
2) United States [500]
1) Canada [1,586]

Following that up, here are the top 5 page views by browsers:
5) Mobile [119 views]
4) Chrome [355]
3) Safari [428]
2) Firefox [745]
1) Internet Explorer [768]

All but two page views listed under “mobile” were viewed on iPhones. I wonder what the blog looks like on an iPhone…

The top 5 referring websites:
5) [855 visits]
4) [1,024]
3) [1,386]
2) [2,779]
1) [3, 071]

The top 5 search keywords that brought people over to our blog:
5) arisu Toronto [28 visits]
4) ka tieu recipe [47]
3) kare raisu recipe [48]
2) homemade boba [74]
1) chicken noodle from scratch [104]

Top 5 Posts:
5) Bobby’s Table [261 page views]

For some reason, people are still flocking to Lucy’s first post of the Japanese curry. It's been the top post every year!

My favourite post of 2010 is a collection of a few:
I’m talking about the posts written about Lucy’s Toronto Vacation, because her visit was so memorable.  Not only did she visit me when I was living on my own (for the first time) and we witnessed Crosby’s “Golden Goal” during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Oh and we can't forget about the epic meals we ate... Librettos, my noodles, dumplings - what more could we need? Just go check it out.

Let me leave you with a few more images that I really like.

Seoul House7
Shrimp tempura. [Seoul House - Korean BBQ...]

My Mac and Cheese5
Homemade macaroni and cheese. I admit, there was a tad too much sauce. [Mom's Mac and Cheese - My Way]

Summer Eats 4
We had lunch by the Manotick locks on a hot, sunny day. The nearby tree and gentle breeze helped ,e get this shot of the cha siu. What a gorgeous spotlight and vignette - it was all natural! [Summer Eats]

Christmas Dinner 2010 - 2
I'll end it with some desserts. Here's a Vietnamese dessert that my aunt made for our Christmas dinner. It's called che suong hot luu. [Christmas Dinners]

Totoya 6
A scoop of matcha green tea ice cream from Totoya. [Random Tidbits: Part 4]

Chocolate Mousse Cake 3
Finally, this was Jimmy's chocolate cake that Lucy bought at T&T. [Random Tidbits: Part 1]



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