Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Dinner

My apologies for the lateness of this post. I had such a crappy connection at the hotel it just wasn't a feasible thing to post. Now that I am back, I hope to get back into the swing of things...I know, I've been saying that for a while now...sorry. If it helps, I am having trouble adjusting to slushy snow instead of sand....
I must say, I loved my view of Diamond Head during dinner!

I hope everyone celebrating Christmas had a fabulous time and your dinners were everything you expected and more.  We attempted another BBQ but unlike last year's disastrous Christmas day BBQ we are in a warm and sunny spot in Waikiki.  We found a place called the Shorebird in one of the hotels close by (The Outrigger Reef hotel).  They have a sunset special where you get an 8 oz steak and an all you care to eat salad bar for 16.95! We decided to go there for our Christmas dinner.  The neat thing about this place is they bring out your steak (or whatever meat you ordered) and you grill it yourself at the massive grill.

Our steaks and a packet of mushrooms for the grill
 Of course we put the Boy in charge of grilling since he does such a fabulous job.

Hubby giving the Boy a hand putting the steaks on
I started my meal out right....

The Shorebird has a fabulous salad bar that even has some hot items on it such as pastas.

The grill had plenty of room for everyone to get their grill on!

We even snagged some bread from the salad bar, extra butter and garlic to make some garlic toast!!

The Boy likes to put butter on the steaks...
Gratuitous steak shot
As always, the Boy grills my steak to perfection!!

I really need to figure out how I can get to do this every year...this Christmas day sunset was a fantastic Christmas present!

Well, that's it for today's post. I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season and wish everyone all the best in the new year!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Melike Liki Maka

Melike liki maka everyone! The folks of the Little Kitchen have embarked on a fabulous adventure this holiday season. If you haven't already guessed it, we are in Hawaii!  We left in the wee hours the other day, getting up at 3am and staying on the go for approximately 24 hours straight! It was quite the day with a stop in Calgary, Alberta, and another stop in Vancouver, British Columbia before boarding the third plane of the day to take us to Honolulu!

 After a very long but exciting day, we had a laid back Saturday. A stop at the Honolulu Farmers' Market was the only must do thing on my list today. I must say, I will be back there. Some amazing sights, sounds, smells, and tastes going on there! I've got a few pictures to share but that is about it. The internet connection is very slow at the hotel but I hope to post some pics for you guys over the next few days.

We finally saw the sun while leaving Calgary!

Getting ready to go into the market
Opening the coconut
Enjoying some fresh coconut water
Big wave tomato grilled pizza
A very Merry Christmas to everyone!  Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cake, Cake, and More Cake

Hi everyone! Is it really December 11 already? Oh my how time flies when you are busy. I think we are now officially past the busy birthday season in the Little Kitchen.  I have been making cakes this fall and it has kept me out of trouble...well almost out of trouble. :)

Since September, I have made 3 cakes for 3 special birthdays! My friend Allison's son had a birthday back in September. Her son is kind of like me and is a Star Wars nut soooooo he got this cake for his birthday:

I found some neat Yoda cakes online and did the best I could with what I knew I could do. I want to try this one again.

Then Nephew's birthday was last week.  He has been on a pirate bender so he asked for and got this:

For this pirate cake, I searched for pirate ship cakes online but ultimately did this one on the fly with my own drawings.

Today my friend John-Luke's son celebrated a birthday and being only 1 he loves Elmo so....

Full instructions on how to make the Elmo cake can be found here.

Well, I do hope to be able to make a post or two in the next little while but with this busy season, I make no guarantees.  In case a I miss the chance, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season this year.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Busy But Fun Birthdays

Times just keep getting more and more exciting in the Little Kitchen! It was birthday weekend! Hubby and the Boy both celebrated their birthdays Saturday!!  Everyone had Friday off work and school so we spent the day roaming the city.  Partly due to the fact that we had no running water and partly because our day seemed to quickly fill up with appointments and opportunities. First we stopped at the CTV studios at 7:30am (thanks to Susie for setting that up for me) for a spot on their morning show, next we stopped at the sports injury clinic for an appointment and checked up on my stupid ankle which, by the way, is still being stupid. Third, we stopped at the Travel Health offices and the Boy got 4 needles divided between both arms...he is all vaccinated and ready for his exciting trip to Kenya on spring break.  After that we stopped at the book store, because at least they had running water. Our last stop of the day was the movie theatre to see the new Muppets Movie.  It was an awesome movie! We also stopped for a bite to eat somewhere along the way!  It really did feel like we had been out all day....oh wait, we had been out all day....

You see, I don't kid around about being busy!!

Saturday, we ran a few errands then came home as the Boy was having friends over.  Then I got myself into the kitchen, cranked the tunes, and starting baking.

I find all too often that I bookmark things from other blogs with the intent of trying things out and half the time I never get to them.  This cake recipe is one I knew I would make for birthday day. I found it on Brown Eyed Baker's blog and couldn't resist!  Michelle's recipe is for a bundt cake but I don't seem to have a bundt cake pan so I turned this moist cake into cupcakes and Marvel heads.  Why not? Here is the link to Michelle's post with the recipe.  I used it as is with the exception of the cake pans. The cupcakes took about 17 minutes at 325F and the marvel heads took about 22 minutes.

This cake smells sooooooo good while it is baking. I didn't want to wait for the birthday party. I was tempted to sit in the corner and eat the whole batch by myself.  Instead I opted to drink the rest of the rootbeer....

 Make this cake a day ahead if you can...the rootbeer flavour gets better as it sits!!!! It is actually quite an easy cake to put together and well worth the rootbeer!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Preparing For The Big Game

Helloooooo football fans and welcome to the Little Kitchen. I am so glad you dropped by today! I had the amazing opportunity this morning to be on CTV Morning Winnipeg this morning to talk about snacks for the Grey Cup.  For my readers South of the border, the Grey Cup is our Superbowl and this year the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in the final game.  They will be playing the BC Lions this Sunday in the season finale game!

Here is the link to the segment from CTV Morning Live: Click here to get to the CTV Morning live website, then click on "Grey cup snack attack" to see the clip.

I promised the links to the recipes I used on the show this morning and here they are:

Pulled pork:  This you can assemble the day ahead and plug the slow cooker in the morning of the big game.  When it falls apart, it is done! If you don't want pork, use chicken thighs or a chuck roast in the slow cooker with your favourite BBQ sauce instead. For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

Pulled pork sammie with coleslaw!

Chicken Wings: Make these beauties the day before and heat them up before game time. provide hot sauce and bbq sauce on the side for dipping! For a printable version click here.

Hummus: The recipe ont his page is for the Hot Wing flavoured hummus. It is truly divine! Again, make it ahead of time and relax during the game! Serve with veggies and pita wedges. You can find a printable version of a hummus recipe here.  For a spicier version, called Buffalo Wing Hummus, click here.

Crispy wings baked in the oven
Jalapeno bundles: These are a favourite, easy to make ahead of time and bake just before the game. They are also wrapped in bacon....need I say more? You can find a prinatble version of this recipe by clicking here.
Jalapenos wrapped in bacon....

Brownies: This link has the basic brownie recipe on it. For the footballs shapes, I quadrupled the recipe, coole and iced the brownies (use store bought) then cut them out with a football shaped cookie cutter. The white lines were made with the store bought white icing that is already in the tube...just squeeze and draw! For a printable version of the full recipe, with icing, click here.

Some game day tips:

Plan ahead. Think about what you can make, when you can make it, and when to heat it up. You want to enjoy the game with family and friends, not spend the entire game in the kitchen!

Throw fancy out the window.  Keep it simple for the big game. Finger foods are essential. People want to eat, chat, and watch the game not fuss with cutlery.

Make use of the help...precut veggies, premade icing, shredded cheese. Who says you have to do it all yourself?

Make use of things such as tin foil and parchment paper to line your baking sheets. It makes clean up so much easier!

Two words: Paper plates.

Happy game day everyone!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You're Going Where?

It has been such an exciting week in the Little Kitchen! There is news to be told!! While baseball is still officially the Boy's first love, in the wake of his injury, he has been exploring other options.  He came upon an exciting endeavour being offered by his school through EFtours. After much thought and discussion, we have decided that this opportunity now in front of him to just too good to pass up. I am so excited, I can barely contain myself....The Boy is!!!! He will be participating in a voluntour with Free the Children and the Me to We people!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic opportunity for young people! The itinerary looks amazing! He also gets to go to WE day this week as well!

How can I as a parent not do everything to help make this opportunity happen for my child? I wish I could go!! Of course to help celebrate this event, I have been researching some recipes for Kenyan foods!  The one we decided to try first is for a very simple flat bread called Chapati that we found on the internet here.  There some other recipes on this page that we hope to try out over the next few months before the Boy leaves on his trip.


1 cup flour
1cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp oil
3/4 to 1 cup water
salt to taste (1 used 1/2 tsp)

Mix the flours, salt and oil in a bowl.

Slowly add the water, mixing and kneading as you go. You will know you've added enough water when it comes together to form a slightly sticky but kneadable dough.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and stiff.

Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes (or longer).

Heat a fry pan or griddle to medium/high.  Split the dough into 6 equal size pieces and dust with flour.  Roll each piece out to a thin roundish shape.

Brush the pan or griddle lightly with oil and lay one piece of dough in the pan. Let it cook for about 1 minute on the first side then flip and cook for another minute.  Each side should have some browning starting on each side.  As you cook the rest of the the Chapati, keep the cooked ones warm.

We find these easy to make flat breads quite tasty and are perfect with hummus and we are looking forward to trying them with other meals.
We are just so excited to be able to help the Boy have this opportunity to travel to Kenya and will keep looking from some regional foods we can make right here in our Little Kitchen.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Between The Crosses, Row on Row

I know I posted this video on my 9/11 post, but this one is so fitting for Remembrance day. If so inclined, please donate to (or go check out) the Hero fund at As the saying goes, We can never give as much as they did. This song also gets me a little teary eyed.

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance, with thanks to the poem Flanders Fields by John McCrae.  McCrae wrote this poem during World War I after being witness to the death of a friend.  Poppies flourished in the soil on Flanders' field were the war dead are buried. Due to this, poppies have become the most noted symbol of Remembrance I know. We buy our poppies every year and wear them with pride as a sign that we pause to remember and think about all the brave people who have risked everything for us to be able to live the way we do.  Here I've found a video with the poem being recited.

Because of the poppy, I thought baking something with poppy seeds might be in order.  Naturally, I immediately thought of lemon poppy seed loaf.  Naturally, I turned them into some cupcakes.
I adapted the recipe from the Canadian Living website.

Lemon Poppy seed cakes
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, grated
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
Beat together the butter and the sugar until light and pale coloured.

Add the eggs one at the time, beating well after each one.  Continue to beat the mixture until it all comes together and is a pale yellow.

Add the lemon zest and mix in.

Most people will tell you to mix the dry ingredients in another bowl, which you can do if you like. I prefer fewer dishes to wash so I just add the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds on top of this mixture.  Mix everything together.

Add the milk and mix until it is well incorporated. This batter is quite thick but bakes up oh so tasty!

Line a cupcake tine with liners and divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups.

Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While the cakes are in the oven. Mix together 1/2 cup icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze.  Put a teaspoon of glaze on the top of each hot cake and let it melt and ooze all over.

Allow the cakes to cool and enjoy! These little beauties got the full thumbs up approval by both Hubby and Boy (and me as well) I will be making these again!)

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.