Saturday, April 27, 2013

Baking Fail

We've successfully made chewy chocolate chip cookies before, but I still somehow messed up a batch. Let's begin the story... I wanted to make the chewy chocolate cranberry cookies for a dinner party. These are some cookies we've made in the past:

Chocolate Chip Cookies 4
Chewy chocolate chip cookies. [link]

Chewy white chocolate cranberry cookies we made for Christmas dinner. [link]

Follow the first link above for the recipe. I began by creaming together the brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and salt together. Then added the egg, vanilla, and salt. Once everything was incorporated, the dry ingredients were mixed together. But I held off on about 1/4 cup of flour.

How was the cookie dough so stiff? I was so confused. I held off on some flour. I know that I was generous when I eye-balled the amount of cornstarch but not that generous.

You see, based on the cookie dough that we made for Christmas, I knew that if the consistency of the cookie dough was the same stiffness, the cookies would be more cake.

This is the drier cookie dough from the chewy white chocolate cranberry cookies from Xmas.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 1
Now check out the softer cookie dough, which produced the flatter cookies in the first photo in this post.

I baked them anyway. They tasted good. A bit dry, but still good if you had a glass of cold milk or a hot beverage.

The cookies were received well, though it still bothered me throughout the night. It wasn't until I returned home that night that I figured out the reason of the drier cookie dough.

Butter. Damn! This was about half the amount of butter required in the recipe. What happened was that I took half the butter and softened it in the microwave. When it was softened, I added it to the mixing bowl and then placed the other half in the microwave to soften. While it was in the microwave, I mixed all the ingredients, forgetting that I still had butter in the microwave.

And that, my friends, is what you call: baking fail.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Snow Crab Dinner

My aunt and her family went to Montreal, two weekends ago, and brought back fresh Gaspé snow crabs! We invited over our family and had a feast.

The snow crabs were boiled and then served with rice and a dipping sauce of lime juice, garlic, chili peppers, sugar, and fish sauce.

All meat.

MT and I were the last ones still eating at the kids table. But she won for being the last one remaining.

Dessert consisted of tea, grapefruits and Beryl's tiramisu flavoured chocolate almonds.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised by Buster's Bar & Grill

While I was running some errands earlier this month, I found myself in the Lincoln Fields shopping mall with an empty stomach. It happened to be lunch time. There were a few options inside the mall: McDonalds, Metro, Subway, shawarma, and, Majestic Pizza. I could've also headed out to the Wendy's in front, or grabbed pizza at Pizza Pizza or Gabriel's Pizza.

I peeked inside the doors of Buster's Bar & Grill. The customers seemed to be enjoying their food. Sure, why not? Let's try something new. I thought to myself.

The menu was simple. I opted The Cubano sandwich: pulled pork, smoked ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on a pretzel bun. I have to admit that the hot turkey sandwich looked good too.

As I waited for the platter to come out, I worried about the pretzel bun. I couldn't shake the thought of them giving me a dry and dense pretzel bun out of my head. Once the plate arrived, all of my worries disappeared. Look at that fluffy carbolicious bun!

The sandwich was quite salty from the ham and pickles. I guess that's what the awesome french fries were there for. Let me tell you, these were crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. The fries actually tasted like potatoes too. I enjoyed the fries a bit more than the salty sandwich.

Fast forward to last Thursday...

I bought tickets to the Washington Capitals vs Ottawa Senators hockey game for one of her birthday presents. She didn't have the car that evening, so we either had to take public transit to the game or find a sports bar that had a shuttle to the game. I called a couple of sports bars but all of them said that they didn't have a shuttle available that evening. Then I gave Buster's a call, after I recalled seeing something about a Sens game shuttle bus during my last visit. Success! They did run a shuttle -- and it was free if we bought a meal there.

The place was packed when we arrived for our pre-game meal. There were many Sens fans sporting their jerseys. I even spotted one Caps jersey. We were seated in a booth towards the back (closer to the doors to the mall). The booths at Buster's were all hard booths. And by that, I mean that there weren't any cushions. Lucy made the mistake of plopping into the booth. Ouch.

"You can choose the main. I'll choose the appetizer." Lucy said.

"Let's try the fish & chips. The last time I was here, I saw a lot of people enjoying that." I responded. "I'm not sure if it was a fish & chip day or something -- there were that many people who ordered it."

We went with one pound of mild chicken wings. I think I've ordered chicken wings probably twice while eating out. Lucy and Jimmy used to go out for wing nights, so she's more of an expert.

I grabbed a saucy drumstick. I immediately noticed a slight crispiness to the skin. The chicken was moist and not overcooked at all, unlike the sad things we usually get when ordering pizza. There was just enough sauce for me. Lucy ate the ones that didn't have as much.

The haddock fish & chips arrived shortly after we began to enjoy the chicken wings. It was a large piece of haddock indeed. We were both glad that we shared the app and main. I found the meaty haddock a bit dry because there was so much meat. The meat itself wasn't dry or anything though. Odd, I know. Lucy really took a liking to the french fries. I found it funny cause we were talking about french fries earlier while walking from the bus stop to Buster's. These french fries definitely hit all the notes like I mentioned earlier. Crisp. Fluffy. Potatoey.

After having some fish & chips, I went back to the chicken wings. They were still slightly crisp! The more I ate the chicken wings, the more I liked them. We were both pleasantly surprised at how good everything was. We agreed that the next time we go to Buster's, we'd order 2 lbs of wings, a basket of fries, and a pitcher of soda.

At the game, which the Sens ended up winning 3-1 against the high-flying Caps, one of my tweets were shown on the large HD scoreboard during both of the intermissions!

Here's a close-up. The full tweet read: @teafortwo_c Cheering on the #PeskySens with @itsybitsypai. #GoSensGo

I think I can speak for myself and Lucy when I say: we can't wait to go back and have those wings and fries!


Buster's Bar & Grill
2525 Carling Ave
Ottawa, ON
Buster's on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 05, 2013

Random Tidbits

All of the following photos were taken with my Motorola Razor HD phone. If you're following me on Twitter (@teafortwo_c) or on Instagram (@teafortwo_c), these will look familiar. If you aren't following me, then head over and follow me!

After working out and doing physio, I was craving something unhealthy for dinner. I needed to get all those calories back. What? That's not how it's supposed to be done? Oh. Well then. Moving on. Luckily -- or unluckily, depending on how you look at it -- Richard was happy to oblige. We bought some pizza and nuggets fer a #fatlikethat dinner.

We got two pizzas; chipotle chicken, red onions, and bacon crumble on the first pizza, chipotle steak and pineapples on a garlic sauce base on the other. The first pizza tasted much better than the other one.

Homemade fish and chips featuring basa fillets and sweet potatoes.


We had leftover battered fish so I made some dill mayo (mayo, fresh dill, dried dill, lemon juice) and put together two homemade fillet-o-fish-like sandwiches.

Here's a lazy dinner of dry noodles with a side of shrimp wonton soup. Having made the shrimp wontons ahead of time, all we had to do was take them out of the freezer and boil them. We had a pot of broth on the stove so we just had to tweak the seasoning a bit. As for the noodles, we just used the dried shrimp egg noodles. Who said lazy dinners have to be crappy?

If you're a fan of pecan pie and maple, check out these pecan maple pies made by St. Donat. I've seen them in Farm Boy ($9.99) and Metro ($7.99). Get them before they're gone.



Homemade chicken parm with fettucini in marinara sauce.


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