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Empty Pantry, Open Mind

When we’re away at school, we get very used to the ingredients that we always have on hand, plus we have the ability to pick up something new or interesting on a whim while grocery shopping. When we go home for a weekend, it’s always a slightly awkward adjustment, because at home our family doesn’t keep nearly the variety of ingredients we do in their fridge and cupboard. Combine that with the inconvenient long-weekend grocery store hours of last weekend, and you’ve got yourself severely under-stocked pantries. Thankfully, our Dad is a forward-thinker and does his best to pick up some of the veggies and other items that he knows we like to have, however we never quite know what there will be until we get home, and we usually don’t know exactly what we’re going to make, so we can’t always give him the heads up!

This calls for some serious creativity!


When we arrived on Easter weekend, we found chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and orange juice. Naturally, we decided to put them all together!


In case you didn’t know, sweet-potato and orange is a fantastic combination! This sweet potato-carrot mash is quite reminiscent of one of our favourite sides  by one of our favourite bloggers, just with a citrus and sweet potato twist! Just as delicious, we assure you!


It was a beautiful weekend, perfect weather to fire up the grill, so to go along with the citrus theme of the sweet potato-carrot mash, we made a honey-orange glaze and gave it to our Dad to spread on the chicken while barbeque-ing. It turned out fantastic, with that great off-the-grill taste mixed with the fresh sweetness of oranges.

Dinner-time perfection! 🙂

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash


Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 45 min
Serves: 5


For the Chicken:

5 medium sized boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. 100% orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic salt
ground black pepper

For the Mash:

2 large sweet potatoes
5 medium sized carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 white onion
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp milk of choice
1 tbsp orange juice


For the chicken:

In a small frying pan, combine the orange juice and honey. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until it reduces by half, about 10min. Stir in the rosemary, garlic salt and pepper.
Pre-heat the grill to medium-low, brush both sides of the chicken with the glaze and grill for approximately 30min, flipping every 10min, until cooked through.

For the mash: 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
Chop the sweet potatoes and carrots into 1-inch peices. Toss the sweet potato, carrots and garlic cloves with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 35-45 min or until soft and mash-able.

Meanwhile, heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Slice onion into thin strips and place in the pan. Cook for 20min, stirring frequently, until caramelized.
Once the vegetables are finished in the oven and the onions are caramelized, transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until there are only a few large pieces left. Add the yogurt, milk and orange juice and whip with electric beaters until somewhat smooth with a few chunks.

Serve along side your favourite vegetables and enjoy.


What do you do when your pantry or fridge is running low?


Fall Cravings

During the summer and spring months, generally our cravings lean more towards the lighter and brighter side of things, for things like salads, burgers, and anything grilled. When September hits and the fall weather starts kicking in, however, we start moving towards warm soups, oatmeal, everything pumpkin and of course all of those lovely fall vegetables!

Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, asparagus and pears!

Ok so pears aren’t a vegetable, but they’re a fall fruit, and who’s counting anyways? We currently have a tonne of pears in our house right now, because not only are they way cheaper than apples (the poor apple crop!) but also, our Dad’s house in Grimsby used to be a fruit farm a long time ago, so we’ve still got a bunch of pear trees kicking around.  They’re actually amazing, we literally do nothing to them, and they grow beautiful, yummy tasting pears every year!

Anyways, all the time the other night we were craving roasted fall veggies, so we chopped all this stuff up and ended up with something that looked this:

Soooooo delicious! It was exactly what we were hoping it would be. And the best part is, is it was super easy! Literally you chop, toss, roast, eat. What’s better than that?

Throw in some onion and toss it all in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, and you are golden my friends! It’s the perfect fall dish. It takes about 45min to roast, but it’s well worth the wait, and during that time you can prepare the rest of your meal, do homework, do a mini at-home workout, clean your room…. the possibilities are endless!

Would’ya look at that steam! 🙂

We ate this as a main dish with some feta cheese crumbled on top and corn bread+almond butter on the side, but we both agreed that this would be fantastic as a side dish at your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, or just a regular meal at home!

Long story short: If you love fall, roasted vegetables, and happiness, you will love this dish!                                                                              🙂

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad

Prep time: 10min
Cook tmie: 45min
Serves: 2-4


1-2 carrots
2-3 parsnips
1/4 of  a large butternut squash
1/2 a large sweet potato
1/2 a bunch of asparagus
1/4 large white onion
1 pear
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Chop all vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

Bake in the oven for 40-45min, or until a fork can be easy inserted (the carrots will remain firmer than the rest of the vegetables). Sprinkle with feta or other cheese, if desired, and enjoy!


What dish do you crave the most when the fall weather comes around?

Long Weekend Love

Yesterday was a long weekend here in Ontario. Ahhhh the coveted long weekend! When Sunday-funday really can be fun because there’s no fear of being too tired to get out of bed in the morning because you don’t have to! For Brit and I, long weekends in the summer don’t really apply, already being on summer vacation and working at a golf club, but for our two older brothers it means an extra day off! Since Brit and I were lucky enough to actually have Monday off, the four of us went to Canada’s Wonderland for a day of fun and thrills!

And ohh what fun we had! We are all rides people with strong stomachs, so we had no problems with any of the rides. Leviathin? Bring it on! We had the absolute funniest photo ever from this ride, but it cost $15 to buy one, otherwise I would share it with you!:)

Of course, going to Canada’s Wonderland, we knew what we were in for food-wise: Foot long hot dogs, funnel cakes, and fast food chains, all extremely over-priced. When we used to go as a family, our mom would always pack a cooler lunch for us which would be eaten at the designated picnic area. However, we didn’t want to have to take the time to go all the way back to the car, get the cooler, etc etc, so instead we snuck in brought along some apples, carrot sticks, home-made protein bars, clif bars and vector bars to keep us satisfied throughout the day. We did eventually go over to a Subway and pick up a sub and some water. We think we may have waited in the Subway line longer than any of the rides – they were so slow! Just ask us how annoying that was! As much as I love going to places like Canada’s Wonderland, it’s nice to get back to more normal eats.

Blueberry Wild Rice Pilaf! This was another one of those “Surprise! This is ridiculously delicious!” dishes. The flavour was so interesting, being quite sweet from the blueberries, yet still tangy and savoury.

And the texture?

Fluffy from the wild rice, yet creamy from the brown rice + dressing combo, with a slight crunch from the carrots and zucchini.

Yup, this dish has it all!

It may not be a thrill burger (yes, they have those at Wonderland!), but it is bright, summery, and has an interesting, unexpected flavour that I would definitely wait in line for!

And hey, it is made of wild rice! 😉

Blueberry Wild Rice Pilaf

Cook time: ~30min + chill time

Prep: 5min

Serves: 5-6 people


1.5 c. wild rice- brown rice mixture

3.25 c. water

2 medium carrots, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 c. blueberries

2 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

1/8 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp ginger

1 tbsp fresh rosemary

1 tbsp fresh chives

pepper, to taste

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 c. feta cheese

2 tbsp flax


Add rice and water to a pot, bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 30min, or until all water is absorbed. Cooking time may vary slightly depending on your rice mixture. When the rice is done cooking, stir in the carrots and zucchini to soften them slightly.

While the rice is cooking, mix together the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, water, garlic salt, ginger, lemon zest and pepper. Stir the dressing into the rice mixture and allow to cool for at least 30 min.

Before serving, stir in the blueberries, feta, flax seeds, rosemary and chives. Serves as a side dish or a main course.


P.s. Our heart goes out to all of the Canadian athletes that have had some heart breaking olympic performances. We want them to know that we are still so proud of them for all their efforts, and we know that sometimes in sport things happen that are out of your control. We are still so proud to be Canadian!

Do you like theme parks and rides?