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Archive for the category “Creating”

DIY Dry-Aging Beef

Dry aging meat removes excess moisture, thereby concentrating the meat’s flavor. I came across this video from America’s Test Kitchens and decided to try it. I won’t have 4 days to age my prime rib roast but just a little under 2 days. It’s worth a shot.


I’m Done and done!

I’ve been away from blogging for a week (or more, I don’t know) due to Willow’s teething.  She’s been having some rough nights, staying up for 2-3 hrs, which makes me exhausted. I give her tempta before bed and it helps her settle. 

So, in my absence, other than being a zombie, I’ve actually been working extra hard on finishing the kitchen. We even managed to take the drawer panels off and painted every single panel. 

The kitchen is finally complete.  It looks much brighter and less outdated. All it took was two cans of milk paint and half a can of semi gloss varnish. A project that costed about &150 in material.  Not bad considering it would’ve cost a heck of a lot more if we switched he cabinets. 

Next project – the backsplash tiles. 
Stay tuned. 

School Lunches

It’s Thursday tomorrow and that means I need to prepare school lunches for both kids.  I used to be the mom who wanted to make all her kids lunches – until my son became so picky that food was coming back untouched. 

Thank goodness for hot lunches at school.  Even though it costs some money, it saves my sanity. Besides, my son’s school has strict dietary rules.  Kosher and Pareve. No meat. No nuts. Just dairy, eggs and fish pretty much. Michael and I have had this talk that it all leads to a carb heavy diet.  What kid can eat eggs and tuna and cheese everyday for lunch?  So it boils down to pasta and pizza really. 

So tonight, I’m making Potatoe Pirogies from scratch.  It’s from the Food Network. I’ve been feeling brave about working with dough lately and I thought, why not?

I’m also home with all three kids tonight as Michael had to deal with the paperwork for the new car switch. We got a Mazda CX-9.  The back seat was just too crowded for all three kids and so the two older ones end up fighting and bickering because they’re in each other’s faces.  Plus the baby likes a quiet car ride. 

Tonight also happens to be the 2nd night Willow sleeps sans swaddle.  Last night she was also sans swaddle but in our bed.  Tonight she’s in her own crib. I’m on my toes the entire time as every time she moves it turns on the monitor and I’m ready to go to her, expecting het to cry. So far, she’s done it twice and not woken herself up. Phew. 

Throughout my making perogies, Willow stirred a total of four times.  And each time, she went back to sleep.   Maybe she will be ok after all. I’m crossing my fingers.

Milk Paint Adventures

So, it has been a slow process – painting and varnishing th kitchen cabinets.  I started last Friday and am almost done with 70% of them.  The drawer panels are a bit of a pain to remove. We still need to paint 2more sets of doors and 4 drawer panels. But the finished ones look great. 

We’re so happy with the results of th General Finishes Milk Paint. It is the easiest and most economical solution indeed. We have a lot more work ahead of us as we also need to paint the cabinet boxes. 

Now we are thinking of leaving one of the set of doors off – to display pores and bowls and keep the kitchen looking lighter.  I can’t wait to finish this project!

Cooking outdoors 

Cooking and being outdoors are two of my favourite things.  It’s Victoria Day weekend here in Canada And we were so blessed to have such nice weather. When Zander was a lot younger, we would cook out on the deck often, especially as soon as the weather warmed up.  

I needed a break from wearing Willow for her nap so I kept the other two engaged.   They both love to help In the kitchen and use little serrated knives so far no cuts – thank goodness. They have both been in the kitchen since two years of age. I had tested a simple BasicEgg Pasta recipe by Jamie  Oliver before and was happy to use it with the kids. Simple.  1:1 ratio of egg to durum semolina.  1 egg :100g.  Mix, knead, chill and test. 

What else does a pasta dough and a pizza cutter remind kids of?  Play-doh. So when they each learned they had their own dough and could make their own shapes, they we’re super excited. Of course, the pieces were too thick, so I had to re-roll each one. 

I setup our little butane portable stove and a pan and pot.  We were set.While the  doughs  rested, they made lemonade.  They love that! Not just any lemonade, it had to have mint from our garden!  So they picked and weather them.  What kid does not enjoy mashing things?

Enter sugar, mint leaves, strawberries, a rolling pin and a milk bottle. And they loved tasting it and adjusting the recipe.  What fun.

We spent two hours just making lemonade, pasta and eating it.  So much fun. I guess this is my way of having an outdoor kitchen – coz we’ll just never be able to afford it.  

What have you cooked outdoors with your kids? Other than bbq?

Happy long weekend.  

Sunny Breakfast

My morning started with Willow walking at 5:55 am. She was up for almost an hour and a half from 1:20. So I’m a little tired from a rough night.  She wouldn’t settle even after feeding her.  

Now she’s asleep on me in the Moby and I’m hoping she’ll sleep for a couple of hours.  I’ve sent the kids and Michael grocery shopping so I can get some quiet time to nap her. 

Every so often, I can hear her sniffling as she sleeps. She’s still congested but is sleeping much better during the first part of the night. She also has been devouring her cereal when I feed her.  Her preference is plain. 

At 6:50 am I hear Zander and Violet’s door open and footsteps into the bathroom.  They’re up.  In my mind I think, I might as well be.  And then the memory of Aroma’s quinoa breakfast salad popped came back.  

I take Willow down and feed her oatmeal cereal while I bake the bacon in the oven. I also assemble ingredients I have lying around in the fridge. Here’s what I came up with. 

Of course, you can’t forget the soft boiled egg of the dressing. The egg is a 6-minute egg.  As for the dressing, it’s my version of the delicious but pricey Wafu dressing. If anyone knows me, I like to think, “hey, I can make that!”.

So I looked up the ingredients for the dressing and just played around to get the right taste.  I never measure so it’s hard to say how much. I know, it’s one my flaws.  Oh well. 

So, here are the ingredients in my version of Wafu. It’s essentially a sesame seed paste dressing. So you can guess, tahini is the main ingredient. 

Ingredients: tahini, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, mayonnaise

The mayonnaise is what makes the dressing smooth and creamy. I’ve made a big bottle and now it’s almost done.  It’s so delicious and it goes well with a lot of food. 

The beets were sous vide with my Anova precision cooker I got for Mother’s Day. They cooked for about 2-3 hrs and came out tender and sweet. 

What’s your favourite homemade salad dressing?

Happy cooking. 

Beet It!

Last night with Willow started out well. She slept with little fuss for 4 hrs before waking to feed.  It’s after that was bad. She was so congested from teething I had to hold her and sleep in the armchair in her room.  Many times I felt my head nodding off and my neck hurt. 

I had to ask Michael to change her and bring her to the bed to feed her since I could not wake.  I took a shower shortly after, which made me feel better, made kids breakfast and ate some too.  I feel better and now I’m napping Willow in the wrap. 

I have to secretly admit that I like this time when she’s napping because I get to watch Breakfast Television, Cityline and The Marilyn Dennis Show, all of which I love. So many tips and useful information.  Love it. 

I also managed to curl my hair using the hair band curling method.  Not pretty to look at while it’s setting but hopefully will look better after. 

I managed to sous vide some beets.  Peel. Slice.  Vacuum seal.  3 hrs at 183 F.  Looks great.  The setup and technique cannot be any simpler. There are so many ways to serve up these beets.  I’m going to explore some recipes and post how I used these lovely beets. 

Back Again

I’m back after a long leave – two kids, going back to work and a few years later.  

I’m on my 3rd maternity leave. Most likely the last one.  I’m running out of energy and gaining more weight than I’d like to.  Other than that, not much has changed. I still like food – cooking and eating, crafting and just making things.  

My baby is now 5’months old and she’s such a doll. I could kiss that face all day long. I think I do. Willow loves to sleep in the wrap. When she was younger I used to be able to make all kinds of noises, pots banging, water running and food sizzling in a hot pan, and she would sleep through it all. Not anymore. 

For Mother’s Day I got a Precision cooker by Anova.  I used it for the first time today.  It was neat being able to control the timing and temperature from my smartphone.  I decided to sous vide the leftover taro root from hotpot over the weekend. I had a sudden craving for taro, tapioca pearls and bananas cooked in coconut milk. 

Instead of cooking the taro in the coconut milk and having it turn to mush, I pre-cooked them in the precision cooker and then simmered them in the coconut milk after. The results were heavenly. Michael loved the dessert.  So rich, coconutty and full of tapioca.  

I also bought a bag of beets and will be cooking them sous vide tomorrow. Yum. 

Have you ever had anything sous vide?  Or maybe you cook using this method. Share your experience with this cooking technique and tell me what you think. 

Soups Up!


The gorgeous leeks were purchased from Byward Market during our spontaneous trip to Ottawa. They were 3 for $5. (I know i couldve bought them here at the grocery store for less, but it was all part of the experience.)
After sweating them in my cast iron pot with some garlic, olive oil and butter, I put them in the slow cooker with 5 yellow fleshed potatoes. Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow.

N.B. I also made a zucchini and roasted cauliflower puréed soup, which tastes totally amazing! No cream but yet so thick and rich. I will post pics tomorrow.

Culinary Adventures

Ever since returning from our trip to Cuba – where the food is as bland as the colour of the sand, I’ve been inspired to cook.

We’ve had both some friends over and brought over food for enjoying. The last visit to our friends in Whitby, I brought along tandoori marinated drumsticks. They were brined previously and so the outcome was just glorious. Juicy, flavorful and to die for. Seriously.

Last week for Shabbat dinner, I served a tapas-style dinner. Tomorrow, it’s all about the beauty of Greek Yogurt. Seriously, I think it’s one of those super versatile ingredients. It’s perfect for marinating, great as a substitute for many kitchen ingredients. I just fell in love with it.

So back to tomorrow’s menu. Three of the items are marinated in Greek yogurt. I’m excited to cook them tomorrow. Potatoes. Shrimp. Chicken. Mmm… I hope the kids like it.

Photos to follow tomorrow. Stay tuned.

P.S. Here are the mini potatoes, which I’ve prevailed to speed up the cooking in the oven tomorrow. I got the idea from this recipe.


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