Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cajun Chicken Caesar Salad

When I was growing up, my mom typically did most of the cooking. If my mom was away, or for some reason my Dad was in charge of dinner, cajun chicken caesar salad was his specialty. The chicken has to be grilled and spicy and the dressing has to be homemade.

Martha Stewart has a great caesar recipe. I typically put the dressing ingredients in the blender to make sure it gets nice and thick.

Cajun Seasoning 
aka Emeril's essence (also see here)

5 tbsp paprika (sweet)
1/4 c salt
1/4 c garlic powder
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp cayenne
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried thyme

Rub chicken breasts with a couple tablespoons of the cajun seasoning (save the rest for another time) and throw them on a hot grill cook until the juices run clear or they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. After letting the chicken rest, cut into pieces and serve it warm on top of the salad.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Ahh the Weekend...

We decided to put an end to book club on Friday night. It was getting tough to keep up with, so we figured it was better to have one last epic living room dance party and call 'er quits.

Eric and I watched the Flames beat Minnesota on Saturday night.

On Sunday, I went to Carrie's to make stagette party plans. Shortly after getting there, Amelia decided to give me a Monster High makeover.

Here we are as two Frankie-steins and a Dracu-Laura. I have no idea what Monster High is, but it seems like a pretty good time.

I hope you had a good one!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Happy Friday!

It was a short week, but I'm still as excited as ever to see Friday! I know I've been a bit of a delinquent blogger as of late, but truth be told I haven't been particularly inspired to cook or bake, and things get pretty busy around these parts. Excuses aside, I just started this whole thing for fun and I don't want it to ever feel like a burden. So while my posts may not be a regular as they used to be, I'm still enjoying it and I think that's what really counts.

A few random musings:
Fiasco Gelato has gone deliciously mad! Look at these gelato, Nutella, brioche paninis:

What the?!

Which brings me to my next point. Have you tried a class at One Cycle yet? It's pretty much like spinning in a club. The music is loud, the lights are low, and there's a disco ball involved. I never thought I'd see the day where I actually looked forward to spin class.

And finally, I joined the 21st century a couple of months ago and got an iPhone which can only mean one thing: Instagram. You can follow me at akbratland or on Twitter. #shamlessselfpromotion

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Grilled Sour Cream Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Mixed Berry Sauce

I made pound cake for our Valentine's fondue date. The recipe made an entire bundt pan worth, so before freezing the majority of it, I grilled some up for a little afternoon treat.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
From Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unslated butter, room temperature
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. With and electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, add half the flour and salt. Mix until combined. repeat with the second half.

Grease two loaf pans or a bundt pan. Pour in batter lightly tapping the pans to remove any air bubbles.

Bake until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean- about 60-75 minutes.

Mixed Berry Sauce

2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)

Pour berries into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir the berries until they thaw and soften. Using a handheld immersion blender, pulse the berries until smooth. Stir in sweetener.

To grill the pound cake:
Preheat a cast iron skillet. Lightly butter one side of the pound cake. Grill the cake in the skillet until lightly browned. Flip and repeat. Top with whipped cream and berry sauce.

I also love adding the berry sauce to plain greek yogurt for a quick breakfast.

Friday, 15 February 2013


IntiMint is a monthly subscription for Brooke Burke's lounge wear line. Similar to Rachel Bilson's ShoeMint or the Olsen sisters' StyleMint, you pay just under $30 a month for credits. As these credits rack up, you can purchase items. When you sign up, you answer a few questions about your style and they customize a showroom for you. I had originally signed up for StyleMint, but wasn't finding a lot of stuff that I liked. I sort of forgot about it until I checked out IntiMint, saw that I had 4 credits, and promptly went on an internet shopping spree. Here are a few pieces that I've received and loved:

I'm thinking about snagging these shoes too:

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

An aggressive bout of food poisoning has had me down and out for the majority of this week. Unfortunately, I have nary a Valentine cocktail nor cake recipe to share with you. However, if you're looking for something to do (and hopefully you haven't left it 'til the very last minute), Avenue Magazine has put together a great list of romantic restaurants- have I mentioned how much I love Avec? Whether you're hanging out with friends or your significant other, check out Kung-Fu Panties at Loose Moose Theatre. Some friends treated us to the show last night and it was hilarious! Nothing says romance like ninjas, Czech robots, and chicks in underwear.

Before the show, we went for dinner at Famoso. Afterwards, Eric presented me with this beauty:

He then told me that the restaurant had stocked their men's washroom with Valentine's cards for all those forgetful lads out there! Well played, Famoso. Well played.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Commander Hadfield

Although I had a great girls weekend in Camrose, it's tough to make two straight days of sweatpants, wine, and movies sound exciting. So let's chat about Commander Chris Hadfield, shall we?

Commander Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut currently manning the International Space Station and tweeting his experiences and incredible photos back to us earthlings.
Taranaki Volcano
London at night

You can read more about him here and follow him on Twitter at @Cmdr_Hadfield. He has single handedly made me realise how cool Twitter can be.

Friday, 8 February 2013

No Roads Here

The No Roads Here: Corb Lund's Alberta exhibit is currently showing at the Glenbow Museum. Corb Lund is kind of the quintessential Albertan. His music sums up the history and culture of our province and his exhibit is the visual equivalent.

The exhibit runs until April 28th, but Corb will be playing two shows at the Museum on March 2nd at 6pm and 9pm. Tickets go on sale today at noon and include admission to the exhibit. You can buy them by calling the Glenbow.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ginger Liqueur

Meet my new obsession:

I picked up a bottle of this New Deal Distillery ginger liqueur from Vine Arts last week. The only ingredients are their base spirits, muddled ginger, cane sugar, and agave nectar. It's sweet with the spicy kick of ginger that you know and love. So far, we've added it to mimosas for brunch and hot water with fresh lemon as a nightcap. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it more. I'm thinking a little of this, with Pimm's and soda, might just be my new favorite drink.


Monday, 4 February 2013

Ahh the Weekend...

We've been in our house for about 5 months now. When we first moved in we were so gung-ho about buying furniture and decorating. Then, about a month in, our enthusiasm waned and we just put pictures wherever there was a nail left by the previous owner. This weekend, we decided enough was enough and tried to get our place more situated.

We also had a little date down by the river. We went skating on the lagoon at Princes Island Park and warmed up with an amazing dinner at River Cafe.

Side Note: Have you seen Argo yet?! I realize I'm way behind the times, but it's so good!