Finger Licking Good!

I love this rib recipe because Glee and Huan love ribs and I can easily prepare these in advance. You can pre-bake the ribs and prepare the sauce and just refrigerate them.  When it comes time to eat just toss the ribs in the sauce and broil them for 5-8 minutes.  I paired these ribs with the cranberry apple quinoa salad because the tartness of the apples balanced off the sweet honey garlic.  Making this meal finger licking good!

Cooking Notes:

  • These ribs can also be served as part of an hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party as it is individually cut.

[gmc_recipe 3782]

Element of Surprise!

I love phyllo pastries. The flakiness and buttery taste is just so heavenly!  The only thing is that it is mostly done in desserts.  Once I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try!  Again, this looks a lot more work than it really is.  The mashed potatoes and cucumber salsa could be done in advance and stored in the fridge up to 48 hours.

This dinner is great for a formal party or a date night.  Not only does it look great, the taste of freshness from the salsa and the texture from the wrap just go so well with fish making this meal a memorable one.  When you bring out the meal, the element of surprise will be a great conversation starter.

[gmc_recipe 3736]

Goulash to the Rescue

On top of the move, my baby was sick so I had to take time off from the move and work to take care of her since she had to stay home. It was really hard having to care of a sick baby.  I just know that Glee was uncomfortable but I had no idea what was really bothering her.  She barely ate anything which made me worried sick.  I’ve tried making her favourite foods, but nothing seemed to make her want to eat until this Goulash.  Luckily I made a big pot so we would reheat it whenever she was hungry. It was really easy to make, so if you have a really busy week ahead of you, make this because the leftovers tasted just as good!

[gmc_recipe 3766]

Can Kale be eaten raw?

This meal was actually put together with all the leftover ingredients from other meals.  I got the macaroni for American Goulash and bought kale for the soup.  The bag of macaroni was so big and so was the kale bunch.  I knew the macaroni could be stored but I really didn’t want the kale to go to waste, so I searched around and found this kale salad.  I decided to give it a try.  It was so good that I will definitely make it again.

You can actually make this salad in advance especially if you don’t have baby kale.  The dressing will marinate the kale a little making it less raw tasting by bringing out the sweetness of the kale.  You can also season the chicken in advance and precook the macaroni to ensure a fast dinner!

[gmc_recipe 3709]

Holiday Samosas

This week, we are moving the last bit from our condo to the new house. Things are all over the place, so I usually like to do all the prep work as much as I can when I get a chance to be in the kitchen.  With this meal, it might look like a lot of work, but it was a lot easier than it looks.  I made the filling and chopped the vegetables for the soup in advance.  I placed them in the refrigerator and when it was time to eat, I just preheated the oven and started wrapping the samosas.  By the time I was done, the oven was ready for me to pop them in.  While I was waiting, I just cooked the soup.  Dinner was ready in 20 minutes.

Cooking Notes:

  • These samosas are also great as finger foods for any holiday get together.
  • You can make them even smaller if you cut the phyllo into thinner strips.
  • When you prepare the kale, save the baby leaves for the salad in the next meal.

[gmc_recipe 3673]

Homemade Wings for House Parties!

Throughout my university and early dating years, the holidays were dedicated for house parties with close friends!  We would take turns hosting parties where we sing karaoke, play board games, Mah Jong and video games until the wee hours.  Good old times! With this type of party, food usually was the least important.  Everyone just wants more time to play so we would just order in pizza and wings!

Most of us have kids now, so it is harder to have parties like this.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t have house parties any more.  We just have to modify the way we party.  Like we can start early and finish earlier and instead of ordering take-out, I would go with this healthier homemade baked chicken wings with a fresh salad.

If you are having a house party, give these wings a try.  You will never turn back to ordering take-out.  Especially when making these could be faster than waiting for take-out!

[gmc_recipe 3589]

Presenting Acorn Squash at a Cocktail Party!

When I have a large guest list, I would choose to host a cocktail party. It is understood that a full meal won’t be served, instead there will be a number of hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  The focus of this type of party is the company.  People usually mingle and catch up with others they haven’t seen for a while.

In terms of food, cocktail parties are all about presentation!  That’s why I highly recommend this roasted acorn squash with chicken and wild rice stuffing as one of your dishes.  Not only will the half acorn squash make the presentation interesting, the stuffing will wow everyone!

Cooking Notes:

  • To make this vegetarian, just omit the chicken.
  • To serve this as part of the buffet table at a cocktail party, get the biggest acorn squash you can find.

[gmc_recipe 3567]

Small Get-Together? Roasting is the way to go!

When I have a small get-together of 6-8 people, I usually like to do a roast.  The prep work is very minimal.  After I prep it, which takes no time at all, I just pop the roast into the oven and the aroma will fill the room as I set the table and do the decorations to get ready for the party.

I’ve chosen this beef roast because all sides are incorporated into the roast.  The tender roasted red potatoes and the sweet carrots with fresh spinach go perfectly with the beef.   The combination of thyme, rosemary and bacon topper is just incredible! The other great thing about a roast is that everyone can choose how well done they want their meat to be.  The outer edge pieces are usually well done, while the centre is medium rare.  I am sure once you serve this, you will leave your guests hungry for more!

[gmc_recipe 3548]

Diverse Guest List? Cover Asia with Coconut Ginger Chicken!

When I am hosting a party, food selection is one of the biggest challenges, especially when I have a really diverse guest list.  My mother for one only likes Eastern food and the younger generation usually prefers Western.  As a good host, I always want to make sure that all my guests feel comfortable by finding at least some familiarity in one of the dishes, yet I want to be able to enjoy the party myself without slaving in the kitchen.  So I need to come up with a plan.  The most worrisome cuisine is the Eastern as most of the dishes were quite labour intensive.  That’s why I’ve chosen this Coconut Ginger Chicken because it covers most of Asia and it can be done in a slow cooker.  It can also be paired with any baguette, naan, pita or rice.

Cooking Notes:

  • To use the slow cooker, after you sear the chicken transfer them to the slow cooker and add everything else.  Set it for 3-4 hours on low and 2-3 hours on high.

[gmc_recipe 3523]

Lucky Salad for Pot Luck

When I had a pot luck party to attend I always ended up bringing a salad of some sort.  Apparently I was the only one who cared for salads.  Everyone else preferred meats, pasta and snacks.  If I wasn’t going to bring a salad, there wouldn’t be any.  I loved salads; I felt that a meal wouldn’t be complete without some sort of vegetables or salads.  The great news was that I never had to fight anyone for bringing a salad.  However, it was always a challenge for me because I wanted my salad to be liked and eaten by everyone.  So I  was always on the search for new salad ideas.

When I found this asparagus tomato orzo salad, I thought it was perfect because of the colourful red tomatoes and green asparagus just in time for Christmas!  It is really easy to make and you can make them in advance and chill it!  It will go with pretty much any meat dish!  Instead of bringing frozen pizza or boxed chicken wings, why not bring this lucky salad to your next pot luck?!  I guarantee you that it will get the attention.

[gmc_recipe 3497]