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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps at Ohana's Restaurant in Disney's Polynesian Resort

Ohana's restaurant in Disney's Polynesian Resort quickly became one of our favourite eateries when at our vacation home.  This restaurant is famous for it's grilled meats prepared over an oak fire served from long skewers, churrascaria style as well as their delicious Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce!  The atmosphere is simply delightful.  Reservations are a must and are six months out so we have already booked for our fall visit!
  

Ohana's has changed their menu slightly.  Grilled chicken skews are no longer available, the salad dressing has been changed from honey lime to passion fruit vinaigrette, and the stir fried vegetables have been updated to include more vegetables, less broccoli and no garlic sauce.  The atmosphere and quality of food remains above average.

The dinner began with Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread Mixed Greens Salad with Lilikoi Dressing (passion fruit vinaigrette with chunks of passion fruit and mandarin oranges).  Pork Dumplings tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce Honey and Coriander Chicken Wings appetizers are followed by skewers of Sweet-n-Sour Pork Loin served with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces,  Szechuan Sirloin Steak served with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces , and Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp accompanied with noodles, tossed in a Teriyaki Sauce with Fresh Vegetables and Stir-fried Vegetables.   Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce finishes off the delicious meal.

I was intrigued with the vegetarian lettuce wraps.  This low calorie dish is a must make at home.  The spicy  filling consisted of edamame, bean sprouts, mushrooms, shredded carrot and sauce.  Unfortunately there is no mention of the wraps on the website for Ohana's dinner menu.  They may be a new menu offering in the testing stage.  According to reviews, the wraps replace the grilled chicken which may or may not be the case.  At any rate, I am going to experiment to create a similar filling for lettuce wraps.  These will be a nice change from salad!

If you go to Ohana's the Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce is a must!  Even if you are counting calories, factor in enough wiggle room to enjoy a bit of this absolutely heavenly dessert.  The ice cream has flecks of vanilla bean giving a decadent flavour that pairs nicely with the bread pudding.  The warm banana-caramel sauce tops this dessert nicely.  Delicious! 


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Steak and Zucchini Stir Fry

The first part of the May trip at our vacation home is quite the adjustment as we are coming off of a four month schedule of up at 3:30 AM and into be by 8 PM.  Suddenly we are thrust back into somewhat normal hours without any time to get used to the change.  We generally spend the first few days of our trip rather low keyed and relaxed.  The second day of any of our Florida vacations is always grilled steak.  The Publix there has a nice meat counter so we buy a couple of extra thick cut steaks.  There is always enough steak left over for snacking and another meal!

steak and zucchini stir fry
Zucchini melody is one of our all time family favourites!  This simple dish consists of sautéed zucchini, mushrooms and onions.  Not only is zucchini melody tasty by itself, it can be quickly converted to a full meal stir fry as I did with the left over steak.

Basic Method:  Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil and a little butter in a non-stick fry pan.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until onions start to caramelize.  Add the zucchini pieces. Cook, stirring often until zucchini is tender.  Remove from heat and serve.

For the steak and zucchini stir fry modification, I added fresh green beans with the zucchini.  Once the vegetables were tender, I stirred in slices of left over steak cooking just to warm through.  The result was a delicious, quick to prepare stir fry to enjoy on the lanai while chatting about our plans for the rest of our vacation. The following day we would be picking up my husband's sister and her son.  They would be staying with us for four days so we were excited about the days to come. 


Monday, June 02, 2014

Tex Mex Salad at the Clubhouse

Yesterday, I wrote about my May hiatus.  We left home in beautiful but still quite cold Ontario in the early evening of May 6 to stay overnight at a motel close to the airport for an early morning flight with our final destination being our vacation home in sunny Florida.  It seemed like such a short time ago that we had arrived home!  Really we had only been home four and a half months but it had been through the brunt of a rather nasty, cold winter that refused to relinquish its grip.  Like many northerners, we were anxious to enjoy a bit of warmth and sunshine.  And so our spring vacation started...

tex mex salad at the clubhouse
Travel days are always quite exhausting even if they go smoothly.   They tend to be high calorie expenditure but low caloric intake aka we are very active but don't eat much.  We finally have flying south down to a routine where we stay overnight leaving on an early flight which puts us in Florida around 2 PM.  We stop for groceries then head to the house.  After opening up the house, unpacking, and putting groceries away we head to the pool for a quick swim.  Feeling refreshed, we head back to the house to change then back down to the clubhouse for dinner.

Our clubhouse is a lovely spot to meet up with friends we haven't seen since our last trip.  The food is nothing spectacular but it is decent.  As homeowners there we do try to support it by eating there at least a couple of times each trip.  We ordered an appetizer, Tex Mex salad and drinks. 

The Tex Mex salad was huge!  We shared the salad that was served in a large bowl.  The salad consists of chopped tomato and chicken on a bed of iceberg lettuce topped with shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos corn chips then drizzled with ranch dressing.  It was quite tasty and filling!  The corn chips were something a bit different that added a nice crunch.  There really wasn't a lot of dressing on the salad even though it looks like there is.  I would guess at about 2 - 3 tbsp (about 150 to 200 calories).  Despite the dressing, the salad was on the healthy side.  When I make this salad at home, I plan to kick it up a notch by adding arugula, substituting Monteray Jack cheese for the cheddar and use grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast. 


Sunday, June 01, 2014

End of May Hiatus

I have been blogging since 2006 and as many of my readers have come to expect, have written a daily post even when on vacation.  We have a vacation home in Florida, a condo in Aruba, and just recently sold our boat replacing it with a tent trailer.  Essentially we spend at least four months of the year away from our primary residence in beautiful Ontario, Canada.  This past May we spent a week and a half at our vacation home in sunny Florida, a week in absolutely stunning Aruba, then back to Florida for another week.  I decided not to do any blogging while away but rather simply enjoy my time with my husband, family and friends.  I will be back to regular posting so watch for another post hopefully later today.

We enjoyed a lot of delicious foods while away which means I have a lot of memories to share with you along with a few new recipes.  The food we enjoyed in Aruba was superb!  Even simple dishes were presented nicely.  We have gotten into a bit of a routine in Florida with respect to eating and while we did not discover a new eatery this trip we did enjoy good food from some of our favourites.  In early November 2013, I started my fitness journey so prior to leaving was still in the weight loss phase.  I'm pleased to say I'm down to 112 lb and didn't gain an ounce while on vacation!  While I'd like to lose another 2 lb, it wouldn't bother me if I didn't.   Back on the home front, I had bought a smoker and deli-style food slicer before going on vacation.  My husband is putting the smoker together as I write this post.  I'm anxious to experiment with both and share my results.  I hauled out my cookbook from of former camping days.  We camped year round every chance we had!

That gives you a bit of a hint for the focus of my blog posts for the next while.  I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts and wherever you are, may your table always be blessed with an abundance of good foods!