Monday, 16 July 2012

For Adults Only

Caught your attention, perhaps, with the title?  I smile.

Ah, yes, the days of summer where the kids are home 24/7 and it's nice to be together!!!

And then, along comes camp and takes the kids away for a WHOLE WEEK and the grown ups get to hang out alone for 6 glorious days!!! 

What to do, what to do.

Well, we took advantage of the opportunity to make a few extra $$ and went to work and barely saw each other.  How is that for exciting?

We did do a couple of interesting things the week that the boys were away.  Our nicest adventure was going to Sabarosa's (Brazilian Steakhouse) in Saskatoon for supper with some friends.  My heavens. What a lovely dining experience!  We will be going back there!!  Lovely place to dine, especially if you like meat and lots of it, which we do. 

Our next moderately interesting adventure was going to see my Dr. to inquire re: the finger that I hurt back in May when I fell off my bike that I never bothered to have looked at until almost 2 months later.  Yup.  Broken, but healing nicely and well aligned.  Ahem, it seems that I was a little late in bringing this up to the Dr. and he could have done much more for me had I come in sooner and I am to expect that it will give me trouble for a long time.  Other than that, we had a nice catch up visit.  >:<

Probably the adventure that was extravagant to us was being able to cook/eat whatever we wanted, thus the title "For Adults Only".  Our kids are fairly adventurous but, you know what it's like, there are just things that you wouldn't make for supper and expect them to eat, so you don't make it and resign to be satisfied admiring the recipes from afar.  We had 4 successes!

Success #1 - grilled chicken breast with fresh (not canned) salsa on the side.  I am growing cilantro in my garden this year and this salsa was a really nice change of pace.  Ingredients - raw tomatoes, onions/garlic minced (blanched by pouring boiling water over them and draining immediately - cut the flavor and increased a rounded, more mellow flavor instead), salt, pepper, juice of a lime and a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro.  The flavors are so fresh.  I recognize that with cilantro, you either like or dislike.  I like, and this was just lovely served on the side of the grilled chicken.  If anyone wants some cilantro, please ask me!  If you cut it back, it keeps growing back!  I'd love to share it with anyone who would like to try some!

Success #2 - grilled pizza with fresh (not aged) mozzarella cheese.  We've been wanting to grill pizza for a few summers now.  This was easy and quick!  We picked up the fresh mozzarella cheese after having read about it and watched it being used on many recipes over the years.  The pizza crust was a homemade thin crust (very forgiving recipe).  It cooks quickly on the grill, yikes!  We did not use any sauce on the crust, but layered a splash of olive oil, fresh tomato slices, fresh mozza slices and basil.  Mommy, I want some more!  Will definitely make that again!  The recipe said to have a hot grill, but next time, we'd bring it a little lower so that the crust wouldn't cook quite so quickly.  That fresh mozza is tasty!  Mild, but melts into gooey, creamy goodness.

Success #3 - fruit infused water for moi.  Cut up 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, 1 clementine orange and 1/3 grapefruit.  Place in pitcher, cover with cold water.  Mash/bruise the fruit to get the flavors released.  I added a small scoop (? 1/3 cup) of sugar and am really enjoying the benefits of mildly flavored water.  I don't love lemon/lime on it's own.  The four fruits combined created a nice flavor base.

Success #4 - our final success of the week - Cold Pressed Coffee for iced coffee drinks.  We have been loading up on the iced coffees in the afternoons and have found them refreshing.  However, we would never think to make the coffee concentrate ahead of time so kept ending up with lukewarm coffee drinks.  There had to be a better way!  I had read about this method on the internet from a couple of sources.  While it seemed like large portions to experiment with, I decided to give it a go.

Take one pound of coffee grounds (advisable to use a good quality coffee, and dark roast, if that's your thing).  Put the coffee grounds in a large pot or bowl.  Pour 32 cups of cold water over the coffee grounds and stir until they are completely soaked.  Walk away for a minimum of 8 hours.  I left mine for 12/13 hours; I don't think it makes any difference.  After the soaking time, strain the coffee through a very fine strainer.  I used a combination of a fine sieve and coffee filters.  Cheesecloth would work, "they" even say paper towels would work.  Press all of the coffee goodness out of the grounds and you've got your iced coffee concentrate!

For coffee drinks, I put several ice cubes in a tall glass, fill the glass to about 1/2 - 2/3 with coffee concentrate, add milk to fill the glass and then stir in some flavor. 

  • My flavor favorite right now is Rolo Syrup - found in the same aisle as the Nestle chocolate milk syrup.  I don't like really sweet coffee so add to your taste
  • Dean likes more of a caramel machiato vibe and adds butterscotch/caramel ice cream topping to his, bypassing the hint of chocolate that I get in mine.
Other flavor suggestions?  I'm open!  I suppose you could go in the direction of a Vietnamese coffee by adding sweetened condensed milk.  Other ideas? 

I don't think the boys would feel that they missed out on any of these culinary experiments!  Once in awhile, it's nice to take the adult-friendly approach, instead of kid-friendly.

What flavors have you been experimenting with this summer?