On My Kitchen Table: Vegetable Fettucine Alfredo With Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Mushroom Alfredo Sauce

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It’s been awhile since I last posted photos of my mum’s home cooking, so I figured I’d try my best to get in at least one more post before the sun really starts setting early.  I’ve come to the realization that if I want to take photos of my mum’s cooking, I can only do so during the spring and summer months with the exception being weekend breakfasts.  If I’ve learned anything over the past year writing this blog, it is that I absolutely HATE using flash on my camera, I HATE the yellow glow that my kitchen light casts on everything in photos, and chasing the sun does not always result in the nicest photographs.  Taking 10 photos resulting in only one nice one and cursing about it later also does not help. 

Okay, so I took away more than one nugget of knowledge over the past year, but I’m not lying when I say that I can’t take any more photos of home cooked dinners after September.  By the time I get home, wash up, put away my things, and head on down to our kitchen table, I’m already squinting and reaching for the lightswitch.  And I know other food bloggers who face the same dilemma!  How did I manage to post so many photos of my mum’s culinary endeavours last winter then when I first started the blog?  Here’s a secret: they were all “backlog” photos, meaning I had a stockpile of photos I had saved for months, even before I went live with the blog.  Aside from some of the scrapbooking, I don’t talk about “behind-the-scenes” stuff much (maybe I should?!), but this was definitely one of the ways I prepared weeks, even months, in advance before Ate by Ate’s launch and I’m relieved it paid off!

We had pasta night yesterday and I thank my lucky stars that my brother made the initial suggestion because, really, we don’t eat pasta as often as we’d like because of my dad’s distaste for it.  But as my mum likes to say, “it’s one meal, he can suck it up!”  She says this any and every time she wants to make pasta for the three of us or when she wants to go to Frankie Tomatto’s for some occasion or another.  Ah, marriage 😀  And funny enough, these photos are actually of my dad’s plate of pasta just before he sat down at the dinner table.  When my mum asked me why I was taking photos of his and not mine, I said, “his looks a little prettier on the plate” to which she replied, “oh…I’m sorry!”  *snort* I had a good laugh over that and told her I didn’t care how the heck mine looked; I was just grateful to be having pasta! 

Anyway, the pasta of choice was fettucine alfredo and we had ourselves a gorgeous Fall colour inspired dinner that left me in a happy food coma for the rest of the night: fettucine pasta noodles with green and yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and chopped green onions (I love green onions/scallions so much I will eat it with almost everything) with a creamy fusion of roasted red pepper and mushroom alfredo sauce.  I relish meals like this and it was the perfect meal to warm us up on a chillier day.

In less than a week, the official first day of fall – September 23rd – will be upon us and I don’t know about you, but I am so, so excited about all the fall activities going on, the cooler weather, and the anticipation of tree leaves changing colour.  I’m really hoping to get out to an apple orchard this time around (can you believe the last time I went to one was when I was 6?!) and continue getting in as many farmers’ markets visits as I can before the outdoor ones start packing up for the year.  I’m preparing SO much fun stuff for the blog and I can’t wait to unveil a fabulous Fall Food series at the end of the month!  There will be lots more details to come, but for the time being I leave you with my weekend food baby.  

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Weekly Feature: The Grad Lounge – Make Way For Bruschetta!

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You know the bruschetta is delicious when even my picky eater of a sweetie who hates tomatoes likes it!  I love bruschetta because of its versatility.  I have a weakness for things like prosciutto  with olive oil and capers, or smoked salmon, or mussels and oysters, and I’ve tried bruschetta made in different ways from different places like the avocado bruschetta from Southern Accent which is yummy as hell!  Crunchy grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil would make anybody drool just by thinking about it and The Grad Lounge’s dish of bruschetta is a vegetarian version, juicy and fresh with lots of diced veggies and a reeeeally nice helping of melted cheese! 

The appetizer dish (3 for $3.95)  comes with 3 wedges of crispy bread topped with diced green bell pepper, juicy tomatoes, red onion and lots of melted marble cheese!  The bruschetta is available on The Grad Lounge’s daily permanent menu and comes in 2 sizes, one with 3 wedges and the other with, I believe, 5 or 6.  This is SO good.  There’s so much yummy stuff on it that you can’t even see the bread underneath.  The cheese is ooey and gooey and the combination of juicy and melty is perfect because the veggies and cheese balance one another well, and the veggies don’t make the bread soggy.  Good for sharing, or good for stuffing your own face.

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The Grad Lounge is located at 166 South Ross at the York University Keele campus.  They offer a number of daily specials in addition to their permanent menu, and provide numerous vegetarian and vegan options.

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy – Fish Fillets & Mum’s Home Cooking

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I hope everyone’s long weekend has been going fab so far despite the baffling weather!  Yesterday morning people were in t-shirts and restaurants temporarily re-opened their outdoor patios.  By sleepytime, snow was blowing around the streets like a cyclone, and I was huddled under the covers with the blankets pulled up to my nose, scared to death my roof was going to blow off from the wind.  Other than that, things are for the most part, peachy 😀  I’ve been spending a ton of time scrapbooking my little heart out (12 pages in 3 days, not bad at all!) and I can’t wait to dish out the new layouts to show you all real soon!  Not to mention I’m working on a few new additions to the blog which I hope to have set up in the next week or two.  I’ll be setting up a Twitter account (oh the joys of technology) and I’m also adding an “Address Book” feature where restaurants and eateries will be organized by category and arranged alphabetically for your perusing pleasure.  Kind of like my mini version of the Yellow Pages!

In the meantime, it’s fishy time!  It’s been awhile since I last posted any photos of my dinners at home, so here are a few recent fish fillet dishes my mum cooked.  My mum will normally keep the marinating for the fish really simple.  A lot of the time she’ll use some garlic, a bit of cornstarch, black pepper, and a little lemon or lime juice.  Up top we have fresh fish with a bit of soy sauce and lots of roasted garlic, green onions, and black pepper, and down below is fish seasoned with thyme and served with sautéed onions, carrots, green bell pepper, and lots of fresh flat leaf parsley!  Lately we’ve been eating carrots like bunnies and adding them to everything!  They really liven up a dish with colour and I loooove carrots steamed so it’s win-win for both me and the camera 😀

Stay warm everyone and hopefully the bright colours from the pictures will remind you that spring WILL come!   

“Egg Sheet” Pancakes

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It drives me bananas when everyone in my family can’t agree on what they want to eat; my dad is anti-pasta (that’s just crazy talk to me!), my brother wrinkles his nose at most vegetables (that makes me have a sad face), and if it was up to my mum, she’d eat bread for every meal for the rest of her life.  And me?  I’ll eat anything they eat.  Pushover?  Maybe a little.  But loves food?  Damn straight.  Thankfully, eggs are one of the few things my whole family can agree on liking. 

The same way you would flip pancake batter with a spatula, we flip “egg sheets”! 🙂  There are two ways you can do this.  You can either crack each egg, on its own, into a bowl, whip it up with a fork and add your diced veggies to the mixture as well as any seasoning (we use black pepper), and pour the mixture into your pan to cook.  Once it starts to sizzle and you see the egdes browning, you flip!  Or you can whip up as many eggs as you plan on making in a large bowl with said veggies, and dividing it into separate “sheets” with your spatula in the actual pan. 

Depending on how big your pan is, you can do about 2 or 3 eggs at a time.  You can add a little bit of olive oil to your pan while the stove is heating if you want to prevent any excessive sticking, and just make sure you set your stove to medium-high heat as high/maximum heat will burn the eggs and that is just not sexy.  It differs slightly from an omelette as omelettes are made my folding over the egg mixture as opposed to literally scooping the pancake-like egg and flipping it on its backside. 

We use a bunch of diced vegetables: red, orange, and green bell pepper, shallots or cooking onions, and scallions.  Surprisingly we didn’t add mushrooms this time around; we eat mushrooms with everything, ha!  You can go all nutty and add shredded cheese to it, hot sauce, or kethcup!  Good lordy do I ever have a hoopla of friends who love ketchup with their eggs (and you know who you are!).  It’s one of those nice “breakfast for dinner” kind of foods that’s really simple and very customizable depending on what you have on hand.  I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far and I’ll see you all again tomorrow!

    

Weekly Feature: The Grad Lounge – Vegetarian Taco Salad

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Now here’s a meal with some serious crunch to it!  The vegetarian taco salad, available on the The Grad Lounge’s permanent menu, is full of fresh veggies and flavourful yummies.  I had this salad during the summer because I wanted something fresh and lighter than the usual pub fare, but I think it’s awesome for any time.  Romaine lettuce hearts, diced tomato, green bell pepper, and red onion, and shredded marble cheese all on top crunchy corn chips.  A vinegar dressing finishes off the dish, and it’s a really nice alternative to the heavier, starch-friendly meals when you don’t necessarily feel like downing a plate of rice or pasta.  And it’s colourful! 😀  *squee*  Fresh veggies are always great, but the corn chips really make this dish.  It has this yummy, salty crunchiness to it that complements the tamer taste of the romaine.  YUM!  Hopefully this salad brightens up your day, especially for everyone who had to deal with the pounding of snow today!  Stay safe everyone and I’ll see y’all tomorrow 😉

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The Grad Lounge is located at 166 South Ross at the York University Keele Campus.