Monday, February 23, 2015

Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon - Win!

Back from 'vacation'! It's never really a vacation for us. It's flying to yet another snowy cold location and driving around parading my self and kids in front all of the friends and family who refuse to visit us here. It's really not bad, just a very packed in trip so I hardly count it as a vacation. No beach? No vacation.

Moving on...

I'm all about a good salmon recipe. It's not something we buy every week due to price so when I buy it I want a recipe that I know will make it amazing.
I've made this recipe from Cooking Classy twice and it's been a huge hit both time. It's lightly sweet and a little zesty, and perfectly crunchy, even if you only end up crusting one side like I did the first time because my salmon had skin. One inconsistent thing about where I shop, half the time the salmon has skin, half it doesn't. It's a fish gamble.
Also I tend to cook my salmon in one large piece, so adjust your cooking times accordingly. For me it was about 30 min for a good size piece.

The first round of this recipe I followed it exactly with the lemon zest and everything. The second time I lacked a lemon, but replaced some of the oil in the breadcrumbs with lemon juice (from a container - yah yah) and it turned out just as good if not a tiny bit better. Crusting salmon with Panko is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about a salmon recipe, but this one is now a regular in our meal rotation.

Yes, I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture. It's that good.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Just imagine that last part of the title in a megaphone voice. It makes it much more amusing

When we purchased our first home almost 2 years ago we started compiling a list of renovations and updates. Not that the house was bad, it was just very outdated and needed a little love. And needed a lot of corrections from the previous owner who was a REALLY crappy DIY-er. Like baseboards that were just put there, no glue or nails, or gigantic nails running through electrical boxes. Oh the fun! On the list was to update our tiny two piece main floor bath. It's smaller then a closet and was painted a horrible dark brown colour. Ech.

So about 6 months after we moved in I finally got around to painting the bathroom a lovely light green and decided to add in a pallet feature wall from an  idea I found on Pinterest. It was perfect. My hubby has access to pallets galore from work, so it would only cost us time and nails.


Seriously. We just got distracted. We started the wall and it has been half finished for a long time. It got to the point where I started to dislike and question the feature wall, not because it was looking bad, just because I wanted it finished or taken down so I could move on. Recently we have had a fire lit under our butts to get our reno projects completed, so our bathroom is FINALLY DONE! YAY!

So this is actually now two Pinterest ideas. The pallet wall, plus my hubby (who is kind of a genius sometimes) had the idea to paint and distress the wood to tone it down a bit. So we he distressed the wood using the vaseline technique and it worked perfectly. Now I have a lovely feature wall in my tiny bathroom that works so well with the rest of the house.
My hubby working away
The Pallet Feature Wall idea is simple and I got the inspiration from here - collect pallets from wherever you can, clean them up if needed (watch for nails and staples), then attach them to your wall after you've cut them to size. My Hubby used a combination of nails and P90X which is a "I'm never coming off this wall" industrial glue, so we could maintain some of the look by keeping the older nails intact.
The Paint Distressing is also relatively simple and worked perfectly because with a baby we have vaseline in the house - Smear Vaseline on the wood where you want the distressed look to show up, mainly around the edges of the wood piece. Then paint over top. We used an antique white colour. When the paint is tacky but not dry, wipe the edges off with a damp cloth. This should wipe off the paint where the vaseline was applied. Now do note that paint dries relatively fast. My hubby was painting some of these in larger batches and by the time he got to the last one it had completely dried and the paint barely came off. So work with one or two boards at a time so you don't get behind.

All in all, even though it took 18 months for us to finish this project, it looks fantastic. We've added a large framed picture instead of the wreath shown in the original pin, but you could use anything really that fits the theme of your home. And really if you not me, you could easily finish this project in a weekend.
All done! And looking awesome with the big frame! Please excuse the mess
Good luck!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken - Fail

I haven't had a food fail in a while! 
Now I admit part of this was my fault. I've never (knowingly) tried Hoisen sauce before. And I also tend to research my recipes by reading comments, etc before trying them. Actually, the comments was one of the things that drove me to start this blog. I mean how many times do you read "Oh that looks tasty" but no one has actually TRIED it!? Yah, so that was a motivator for this, because I actually try it and write about it.

Moving on...

So I'm continuing my love affair with my slow cooker but looking for new recipes to try. We like our Asian style foods, so the recipe for Honey Garlic chicken from InspiredDreamer sounded perfect. A bit more complex then normal since I had to go purchase Hoisen sauce, something I never had on hand but I figured I'd give it a whirl. The recipe sounded solid enough. Results? Not so much.

The chicken was SUPER salty. Like, you can't taste anything but salt. I even went over the recipe again after we at it to make sure I followed it correctly, which I did. I only eliminated the pepper flakes since my boys don't like spicy foods and added a small dash of chilli powder instead. The hoisin sauce plus the soy sauce make a super salty combination. No honey or garlic taste at all, and thats after 5 (large) garlic cloves!

I may try this recipe again, either seriously reducing the hoisin or soy sauce, or both, or eliminating one completely. But if that doesn't work this recipe will definitely not be returning to this house. And it has sadly been labeled a fail.