Cabin Comfort Food

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This is about a month late, but I wanted to share what I made at the cabin for my anniversary earlier this month. My heart was set on barbecuing because I don’t get enough of it living in an apartment. Also, there’s something intensely satisfying about grilling meat on an open flame (says the former vegetarian).

This dish was inspired by a steak salad that I had at Hermanos this summer. It’s a refreshing salad made with butter lettuce and grilled meat and veggies. All the grillables marinated in an oil and vinegar blend for a few hours before they got skewered and thrown on the bbq.

I made a lemon-potato side dish because of the overwhelming amount of potatoes I had at home. They were aaaaaaaamazing! We pan-fried the leftovers the next morning for breakfast and I highly recommend finishing them in a pan if you like a crispier tater.

I found the potato recipe here and the marinade for the meat and veg was my own creation.

Shish Kebabs

Ingredients

8 oz beef tenderloin steak (or whatever meat you prefer)
1 red onion
1 zucchini
2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers
1 package cremini mushrooms
4-6 long metal skewers

Marinade

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/3 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Cut all of the meat and veggies into bite-sized pieces. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a lidded container or a ziploc bag.
  2. Add the meat and vegetables to your vessel of choice and shake until the ingredients are covered with the marinade mixture. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to several hours.
  3. Turn barbecue to medium-high and cook skewers until the meat is cooked and the veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Enjoy as skewers, or wash and tear one head of butter lettuce and toss ingredients together to make a super tasty salad. There’s no need for a dressing because the shish kebabs are so flavourful already.

Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups of water (I found the recipe called for to much liquid so feel free to cut it down to 1 cup and 1 bouillon cube)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cubes bouillon
ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, bouillon cubes and pepper.
  3. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the potatoes. Cover, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until tender but firm.
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Happy Anniversary

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Last weekend Neal and I celebrated our two year anniversary (awwww) with a laid back weekend at my cabin. It was perfect. We played games, watched movies, sat by the lake and philosophized, and made some amazing food.

This monumental was a bit of a departure from the way we’ve celebrated in the past. For one the weekend didn’t include getting dressed up and spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy dinner, and thank god because that’s just not in my budget at the moment.

We also planned the weekend together so there were no surprises, other than my surprise at how much I enjoyed not being surprised (clear as mud?). The weekend was all about getting away from reality and spending two whole days together without any distractions.

The weather was amazing so we spent most of Saturday outside. We dug the Bocce ball set out of the shed and hauled it down to the park. We played head to head for hours and made a loop from the park down to the beach, and back.

We kept the competition going all night in various forms. It started with me demanding we do a puzzle, to playing Yahtzee, to Monkeys in a barrel. Game night ended abruptly when we tried to play a 2am round of Scrabble and started arguing about the validity of each others words (for some reason we had forbid use of the dictionary during the game).

In the midst of all the gaming we barbequed some amazing shish kebobs and lemon potatoes, the recipes for both of which I will share in a later post.

On Sunday we slept in and successfully lounged all day, making our way through 3 of 5 Star Wars movies. It was bliss.

I’m pretty thankful for the guy I got to spend so much time with. And after 2 years together, life is only getting better!

Watermelon Shots and a Cabin Party

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This is the story of a wonderful winter cabin party that I hosted and the little jello shots that inspired such a weekend to come together. I have been lucky enough to have a beautiful winterized cabin, an hour out of the city, for the better part of my life. Yet, up until last month I hadn’t had a big get together out there in the winter. Thanks to a decent amount of pestering from friends I finally made an event of it and was thrilled that so many people could make it out. The overnight party featured a full out beer pong tournament, potluck, watermelon jello shots, a very late night trek, and (I’m so sorry again) two busted air mattresses and a pretty cozy sleeping situation! The following are some pictures from the cabin and the recipe for some fantastic watermelon lime wedge jello shots that I am ever so proud of!

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The recipe for these, and many other inspired Jello shots, was found at the blog That’s So Michelle. I used Stolichnaya Vodka as I was told it chills very well and isn’t overpowering flavour wise.

Watermelon Lime Wedge Jello Shots

10 ish limes
1 cup vodka
1 cup boiling water
1 package Jello brand watermelon jello mix (apparently other brands don’t work as well)

1) Halve limes and hollow out the peel. I used a paring knife to score the white center veins of all the limes to make this part easier (be careful not to pierce the lime through the skin or else the jello will leak out of the peel). I also reserved the inside of the limes to make homemade lime juice by muddling the limes in a bowl and working the juice through a strainer.

2) Combine the 1 cup of boiled water with the vodka and jello mix, stir until the jello dissolve completely.

3) Place the hollowed lime halves on a baking sheet and ensure they are sitting as evenly as possible. I used a measuring cup to pour the vodka solution into each lime half.

4) Very carefully place the full limes into the fridge and allow to set for several hours, I sped this up slightly by putting them in the freezer partway through.

I’m hoping I can organize another cabin party before winter is over because I have plenty of other jello shots I want to try. Also, I’m thinking a pick-me-up party in mid February will be a nice escape from school and the wretched city for most people.